CASE DIGEST: People vs. Bacos (G.R. No. 178774; December 8, 2010)

CASE DIGEST: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, vs. MARLYN P. BACOS, Appellant. G.R. No. 178774; December 8, 2010.

FACTS: Complainants claimed that when they met appellant and her common-law husband Dimayuga, Dimayuga represented that he was a recruiter and they could send them to work in Japan. Believing that Dimayuga was a legitimate recruiter, the complainants parted with their money to be used as placement and processing fees. Dimayuga issued receipts for the money received.

The complainants were not deployed within the period promised. The complainants also discovered that Dimayuga and the appellant moved to another house. Believing that they had been duped, the complainants and the other applicants filed complaints for illegal recruitment against Dimayuga and the appellant.

In her defense, the appellant testified that she had no participation in the transactions between her husband and the complainants. She denied having received any money from the complainants, and likewise denied signing any receipt for payments made.The appellant claimed that she only served the complainants snacks whenever they came to where she and Dimayuga then resided.

Dimayuga died during the pendency of the trial. The RTC found appellant guilty of illegal recruitment in large scale which was affirmed by the CA.

ISSUE: Was the appellant a principal in the crime charged absent any direct and clear evidence of her active participation in the illegal recruitment? HELD: The prosecution evidence clearly showed that despite the lack of license or authority to engage in recruitment, the appellant admitted that she gave the complainants "assurances" that she and Dimayuga could deploy them for employment in Japan. The complainants, in this regard, were categorical insaying that they relied not only on the representations of Dimayuga but also on the assurances of the appellant that they would be deployed for work in Japan.

The court arrived at this conclusion after additionally considering the following established acts of the appellant: (a) her acceptance of the placement fee given by the complainants; (b) the fact that she communicated to the complainants the date of their departure; and (c) her information on how the balance of the placement fee should be paid.These acts indubitably show that she was engaged in illegal recruitment activities together with Dimayuga. Thus, the appellants liability under the circumstances cannot be considered as that of a mere accomplice, but rather as a principal directly and actively engaged in illegal recruitment activities. DENIED.
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