Saturday, February 6, 2016

RA 8484, Access Devices Regulations Act of 1998; possession of access device

"x x x.

Petitioner avers that he was never in possession of the subject credit card because he was arrested immediately after signing the acknowledgement receipt. Thus, he did not yet know the contents of the envelope delivered and had no control over the subject credit card.[11]

Again, we find no value in petitioners argument.

The trial court convicted petitioner of possession of the credit card fraudulently applied for, penalized by R.A. No. 8484. The law, however, does not define the word possession. Thus, we use the term as defined in Article 523 of the Civil Code, that is, possession is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right. The acquisition of possession involves two elements: the corpus or the material holding of the thing, and the animus possidendi or the intent to possess it.[12] Animus possidendi is a state of mind, the presence or determination of which is largely dependent on attendant events in each case. It may be inferred from the prior or contemporaneous acts of the accused, as well as the surrounding circumstances.[13]

In this case, prior to the commission of the crime, petitioner fraudulently obtained from private complainant various documents showing the latters identity. He, thereafter, obtained cellular phones using private complainants identity. Undaunted, he fraudulently applied for a credit card under the name and personal circumstances of private complainant. Upon the delivery of the credit card applied for, the messenger (an NBI agent) required two valid identification cards. Petitioner thus showed two identification cards with his picture on them, but bearing the name and forged signature of private complainant. As evidence of the receipt of the envelope delivered, petitioner signed the acknowledgment receipt shown by the messenger, indicating therein that the content of the envelope was the Metrobank credit card.

Petitioner materially held the envelope containing the credit card with the intent to possess.Contrary to petitioners contention that the credit card never came into his possession because it was only delivered to him, the above narration shows that he, in fact, did an active part in acquiring possession by presenting the identification cards purportedly showing his identity as Henry Yu. Certainly, he had the intention to possess the same. Had he not actively participated, the envelope would not have been given to him. Moreover, his signature on the acknowledgment receipt indicates that there was delivery and that possession was transferred to him as the recipient. Undoubtedly, petitioner knew that the envelope contained the Metrobank credit card, as clearly indicated in the acknowledgment receipt, coupled with the fact that he applied for it using the identity of private complainant.

Lastly, we find no reason to alter the penalty imposed by the RTC as modified by the CA. Section 10 of R.A. No. 8484 prescribes the penalty of imprisonment for not less than six (6) years and not more than ten (10) years, and a fine of P10,000.00 or twice the value of the access device obtained, whichever is greater. Thus, the CA aptly affirmed the imposition of the indeterminate penalty of six years to not more than ten years imprisonment, and a fine of P10,000.00.
x x x."



- versus -


G.R. No. 184274


ABAD, and


February 23, 2011