On Sunday, July 7, 2019, ANCX received a full copy of the resolution stating the dismissal of the qualified theft and access device fraud filed by former TV personality and now online celeb Kris Aquino against Nicko Falcis. Nicko is the former managing director of Kris’s online company, Kris Cojuangco Aquino Productions (KCAP).
It was on October 12, 2018, when Kris formally filed a complaint for 44 counts of Qualified Theft and Violation of Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998. The cases—which accused Nicko of stealing Php 1,270,980.31 million via credit card transactions using KCAP’s account—were filed in these seven cities: Makati City, San Juan City, Taguig City, Mandaluyong City, Pasig City, Quezon City, and Manila.
The resolution received by ANCX was dated April 10, 2019, and was signed by Assistant City Prosecutor Geoffrey H. Llarena.
“Lack of probable cause”
It states that according to Kris (referred to as the complainant), Nicko allegedly spent a total amount of Php 49, 584 in unauthorized credit card transactions, in Manila. The said transactions included one for Cathay Pacific Air and two for TIEZA (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority).
The resolution states that the “complainant failed to establish the personal property that was supposedly unlawfully taken by respondent [Nicko] from complainant or from KCAP.” It adds, “While it may be argued, as part of the expanded definition of personal property, that it is the credit line extended by BDO [Banco de Oro] which was the object of the unlawful taking, we must not lose sight of the fact that such credit line was issued in the name of respondent.”
The eight-page document further explains that Nicko’s purchases were “lawfully and presumably in compliance with the terms and conditions” of BDO, the bank that issued the credit card.
A criminal complaint for estafa, the resolution says, would have been “more appropriate under the circumstance.” However, it states that the complainant failed to show that a “demand to account for and pay for” the alleged transactions were made. This demand is necessary to allow the parties involved to distinguish which among the transactions were made for KCAP and which among them were for the alleged personal use of Nicko.
The respondent, says the resolution, was able to sufficiently explain the expenses incurred in Manila that are in question: 1. “additional airfare charge for KCAP Staff (for production)” for “business class upgrade of complainant’s personal nurse, Ruby “Bincai” Luntayao;” 2. “airport terminal fees for KCAP Team (Falcis)” for Tolak Angin TV Commercial Shoot in Indonesia; and 3. “airport terminal fees for KCAP Team (7 People) – Juan Sarte [makeup artist], Kris Aquino, Alvin Gagui [Kris’s chief of staff], Jonathan Velasco [makeup artist], Nante Alingasa [hairstylist], Elias Jack Salvador [Kris’s assistant], Ruby Bincao Luntayao” for the Tolak Angin TV Commercial Shoot in Indonesia.
On the account of access device fraud, the prosecutor did not find probable cause to hold Nicko criminally liable, citing the similar reason that the credit card was issued in the name of Nicko. The resolution adds, “Also, there being no proof of showing that the expenses incurred in Manila using the said card were made with intent to defraud, and intent to gain and fleeing thereafter…”
Nicko leaving the country for Thailand late last year can “hardly be considered as fleeing,” for many reasons, according to the document. First, Nicko already issued a check “in favor of complainant.” The check was supposed to pay for the disputed transactions. Second, Nicko went to Thailand upon the instruction of Kris (it can be remembered that Kris asked Nicko to go to Thailand to enroll in a short course). Third, Kris did not deny Nicko’s allegation that she threatened his life should he return to the Philippines.
In the last page of the document, it concluded, “Wherefore, in view of the foregoing, the present criminal complaint is DISMISSED for lack of probable cause.”
Kris Aquino’s complaints against Nicko Falcis has already been junked in Pasig City, Makati City, and Taguig City. However, Nicko was indicted for estafa and fraudulent use of access device in Taguig City.
In April 2019, the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office junked the grave threats case filed by Nicko and his brother Jesus Falcis against Kris.