Intention and Nature of BP 22

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. [Lozano v. Martinez, 146 SCRA 323 (1986).]

In Que vs. People (154 SCRA 161), the Supreme Court stated that it is the clear intention of the framers of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 to make the mere act of issuing a worthless check malum prohibitum.  In prosecutions for violation of B.P. Blg. 22, therefore, prejudice or damage is not a pre-requisite for conviction.  In the more recent case of People vs. Nitafan (215 SCRA 79), the Supreme Court ruled that the argument surrounding the issuance of the checks need not be first looked into, since the law clearly provides that the mere issuance of any kind of check, regardless of the intent of the parties; i.e., whether the check was intended merely to serve as a guarantee or deposit, but which check was subsequently dishonored, makes the person who issued the check liable.  The intent of the law is to curb the proliferation of worthless checks and to protect the stability and integrity of checks as a means of payment of obligation (Lazaro vs. Court of Appeals, 227 SCRA 723, 726-727). [Rollo, pp. 37 & 39]


About Erineus

Born on December 28, 1965, Surallah, South Cotabato, Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
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