People of the Philippine Islands vs Koc Song

October 12, 2015

63 Phil. 369 – Criminal Law – Qualified Theft – Grave Abuse of Confidence

In January 1936, Koc Song stole various personal properties from Lue Hok. The personal properties he took consisted of some clothing, a wallet, a comb, a watch, some bills and coins, a promissory note, some pictures, and a cedula. The amount of the items taken was Php518.11.

Koc Song was convicted for Qualified Theft because it appears that he was living as a housemate of Lue Hok when the crime happened. Hence, the judge ruled that Koc Song committed the theft with grave abuse of the confidence reposed in him by Lue Hok.

ISSUE: Whether or not the conviction is proper.

HELD: No. The crime of Qualified Theft is not proper. Koc Song should only be convicted for simple theft. In this case, the theft committed by Koc Song cannot be qualified by grave abuse of confidence simply because he was a housemate of Lue Hok. There was no allegation in the information and there was no proof that there was a high degree of confidence between Lue Hok and Koc Song which the latter abused in order to perpetrate the crime. Grave abuse of confidence cannot be taken as a mere conclusion of law. There must be proof thereof.


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