Resident Auditor of the Butuan General Hospital Antonio Martirez found Modesto Mahinay, a cashier of the same hospital, to have incurred a shortage of P 20,619.40, as shown in the report signed by the petitioner.
Subsequently, Antonio Martirez wrote a letter of demand to the petitioner requiring the latter to produce the missing funds and to submit an explanation on how the shortages had been incurred. Mahinay failed and refused to restitute said funds.
Later, an Information was filed before the Trial Court accusing Mahinay of committing grave abuse of confidence, misappropriation, misapplication, embezzlement, and malversation, taking away a sum amounting to P20,619.40 which he allegedly appropriated and converted to his own personal use and benefit resulting to the great damage and detriment of the Philippine Government and the public interest.
Whether or not the petitioner has committed Malversation of public funds under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code.
YES, under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code provides that any public officer who, by reason of the duties of his office, is accountable for public funds or property, shall appropriate the same, or shall take or misappropriate or shall consent, or through abandonment or negligence, shall permit any other person to take such public funds or property, wholly or partially, shall be guilty of the misappropriation or malversation of such funds or property.
There is no dispute that the presumption of malversation under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code is merely prima facie and rebuttable, so that if the accountable officer has satisfactorily proven that not a single centavo of the missing funds was used by him for his own personal interest but extended as cash advances to co-employees in good faith, with no intent to gain and borne out of goodwill considering that it was a practice tolerated in the office, the presumption of guilt is overthrown (Quizo v. Sandiganbayan, 149 SCRA 108). However, the circumstances obtaining in the Quizo case are not obtaining in the case at bar. Among others, in the Quizo case, there was full restitution made within a reasonable time, while in the instant case there was none.