Lozano v Martinez; G.R. No. L-63419; 18 Dec 1986; 146 SCRA 323

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Petitioners were charged with violations of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22. They each filed with the trial courts a motion to quash the information against them on the ground that the acts charged did not constitute a crime, the statute being unconstitutional.

Whether or not B.P. 22 is repugnant to the constitutional protection against imprisonment for debt.

NO. The gravamen of the offense punished by B.P. 22 is the act of making and issuing a worthless check or a check that is dishonored upon its presentation for payment. It is not the non-payment of an obligation which the law punishes. The law is not intended or designed to coerce a debtor to pay his debt. The thrust of the law is to prohibit, under pain of penal sanctions, the making of worthless checks and putting them in circulation. Because of its deleterious effects on the public interest, the practice is proscribed by the law. The law punishes the act not as an offense against property, but an offense against public order.

Petitions are DISMISSED.

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