People v Judge Nitafan; G.R. Nos. 81559-60; 06 Apr 1992; 207 SCRA 726

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Respondent judge granted a motion to quash an information for estafa on the ground that the penal clause of Presidential Decree No. 115 on the Trust Receipts Law is inoperative because it does not actually punish an offense mala prohibita.

Whether or not P.D. 115 is unconstitutional as it violates the constitutional prohibition against imprisonment for non-payment of debt.

NO. The Trust Receipts Law punishes the dishonesty and abuse of confidence in the handling of money or goods to the prejudice of another regardless of whether the latter is the owner or not. The law does not seek to enforce payment of the loan. Thus, there can be no violation of a right against imprisonment for non-payment of a debt.

Petition is GRANTED.

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