Makati prosecutor dismisses qualified theft complaint vs Nicko Falcis
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Makati City Prosecutor's Office has dismissed the qualified theft case filed by Kris Aquino against Nicko Falcis, her former project manager and the former managing director of her company, Kris Cojuangco Aquino Productions (KCAP).
The Makati city prosecutor approved the resolution of Assistant City Prosecutor Paolo Barcelona recommending the dismissal of the case for lack of probable cause.
In October 2018, Aquino alleged that Falcis charged over P1 million to a BDO corporate card under KCAP for personal expenses without her consent. She filed theft complaints against him in 7 cities, including Makati.
In a resolution dated February 18, the Makati Prosecutor’s Office said that in reference to the qualified theft case filed in the city, it "found no probable cause to charge Falcis" with the crime.
This is in relation to the quaified theft case filed by Aquino over 13 transactions amounting to P404,794.34 using the KCAP card in Makati.
"After careful examination of the records of the case, this Office is inclined to dismiss the complaints as there is no sufficient evidence to engender a well-founded belief that Falcis committed the crimes charged," the resolution said.
It noted that “no evidence was presented with regard to any agreement between Aquino and Falcis as regards the use of the subject credit card" which is under Falcis' name.
With his name on the card, Falcis as the cardholder can use it according to the terms imposed by the card issuer, BDO, and using it for personal expenses does not make him liable for theft, the resolution said.
"As cardholder, Falcis is personally liable to BDO for any and all amounts charged to the card. It is for this reason that Falcis’ name appears in the credit cards statement of account. Thus, should Falcis now pay his credit card bill, BDO can directly initiate legal actions against him to compel him to pay," the resolution said.
It added: "Given the foregoing, Falcis’ use of the KCAP card for his personal expenditures would not make him liable for theft. He is only liable to BDO for the card transactions that he had made using the card."
The resolution also noted that "the fact that Aquino paid Falcis’ credit card bill is of no moment."
"This will only make that latter civilly liable to the former as she is entitled to reimbursement for the amount that she has paid," it said.
Motion for reconsideration
Aquino’s legal team at Fortun Narvasa Salazar will be filing a motion for reconsideration as soon as they receive their copy of the resolution, they said.
In a February 22 press statement, they called the resolution “irregular and legally flawed.”
They said that Falcis’ name on the corporate card was only to show that he was authorized to use it for Aquino, and not for personal expenses.
They also said that Falcis admitted in messages to Aquino that he was wrong in using the card for personal transactions.
“He also tried to pay part of it by using his own check to cover the cost of personal purchases. His admissions to wrongdoings were all submitted in evidence to the prosecutor who may have glossed over those,” the statement read.
“Mr. Falcis did not even appear and did not file any counter-affidavit to refute the charges against him. His alleged defenses in his ‘verified omnibus motion’ should not have even been considered by the city prosecutor,” they added.
It was earlier reported that Falcis’ lawyers at Ponferrada-Ty Law Offices submitted his counter-affidavit in Taguig and Pasig on December 17. He also appeared before the Manila prosecutor’s office with his lawyer Regidor Ponferrada on January 3.
Aquino’s lawyers added that Falcis’ defenses “are only his own allegations, the truth of which should be proved during trial.”
They reiterated that the case that was dismissed is only one of many which are still pending resolution.
“The resolution from the Makati prosecutor is not final and we will ensure that justice is served for Ms. Aquino,” they said.
The legal battle between Aquino and Falcis has escalated to involve other parties, including Falcis’ brother, Jesus, who she filed a cyber libel case against in November 2018. – Rappler.com