The case of JOY LEE RECUERDO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 168217, June 27, 2006, held that “there can be no estafa if the accused acted in good faith because good faith negates malice and deceit (People vs. Ojeda, G.R. Nos. 104238-58, June 3, 2004, 430 SCRA 436).”
“x x x.
There can be no estafa if the accused acted in good faith because good faith negates malice and deceit (People vs. Ojeda, G.R. Nos. 104238-58, June 3, 2004, 430 SCRA 436). Good faith is an intangible and abstract quality with no technical meaning or statutory definition, and it encompasses, among other things, an honest belief, the absence of malice and the absence of design to defraud or to seek an unconscionable advantage. X x x. It implies honesty of intention and freedom from knowledge of circumstances which ought to put the holder upon inquiry. The essence of good faith lies in an honest belief in the validity of ones right, ignorance of a superior claim, and absence of intention to overreach another (Philippine National Bank v. De Jesus, G.R. No. 149295, September 23, 2003, 411 SCRA 557, 561). In People v. Gulion, 402 Phil. 653 (2001), the Court held that:
Good faith is a defense to a charge of Estafa by postdating a check. This may be manifested by the accused’s offering to make arrangements with his creditor as to the manner of payment or, as in the present case, averring that his placing his signature on the questioned checks was purely a result of his gullibility and inadvertence, with the unfortunate result that he himself became a victim of the trickery and manipulations of accused-at-large.
X x x.”