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Jacinto v. People

12. Jacinto vs. People, G.R. No. 162540, July 13, 2009
FACTS: Gemma Jacinto is the collector of Mega Foam. Baby Aquino handed a BDO Check worth P10,000
to Gemma Jacinto, as payment for her purchases from Mega Foam. Instead of delivering the check to
Mega Foam, Jacinto deposited the check to her bank account. Later the check bounced. The RTC ruled
that Jacinto, et al., were guilty of Qualified Theft. The CA modified the decision except Jacinto’s, the other
two were either acquitted or one’s penalty was reduced. So, Jacinto filed a petition for review of certiorari
before the Supreme Court.
ISSUE: WON Jacinto is liable for theft.
RULING: NO. Jacinto is guilty of an impossible crime.
According to Article 4(2) of the RPC, an impossible crime is committed by any person performing an act
which would be an offense against persons or property, were it not for the inherent impossibility of its
accomplishment or an account of the employment of inadequate or ineffectual means.
The requisites of an impossible crime are: (1) that the act performed would be an offense against persons
or property; (2) that the act was done with evil intent; and (3) that its accomplishment was inherently
impossible, or the means employed was either inadequate or ineffectual.
There must be either (1) legal impossibility, or (2) physical impossibility of accomplishing the intended act
in order to qualify the act as an impossible crime. Legal impossibility occurs where the intended acts, even
if completed, would not amount to a crime.
Jacinto committed an impossible crime, because she performed all the acts necessary for the qualified
theft (a crime against property), but the crime was prevented because the check bounced. The bouncing
of the check is an extraneous circumstance beyond the control of the actor, which prevented the crime
of being produced.
Petition is granted.
“The purpose of the law in punishing the impossible crime is to suppress criminal tendencies.
Objectively, the offender has not committed a felony, but subjectively, he is a criminal.” (Justice Reyes)