Supreme court of the philippines

SC upholds estafa conviction of Aguinaldo kin who tried to sell clan’s land

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The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed the conviction of a descendant and namesake of former President Emilio Aguinaldo for defrauding a real estate company in an anomalous Tagaytay City property transaction in 2000.

In a recent resolution, the court’s 2nd Division denied the appeal of Emilio Aguinaldo IV against his 4-to-20-year sentence for estafa.

The High Court said it found “no reversible error” in his 2013 conviction by the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) as affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA) in 2016.

Aguinaldo was accused of misrepresenting that he was authorized by his relatives to sell a portion of the clan’s estate. He allegedly presented several fraudulent Special Powers of Attorney (SPAs), so he could sell the property to ACROL Holdings, Inc., for P1.75 million.

The agreement allowed Aguinaldo to repurchase the property within six months, but he did not exercise the right. When ACROL tried to transfer the title to the property to its name, the estate administrator filed a complaint claiming that Aguinaldo was not authorized to sell the lot.

Although ACROL desisted from pursuing the case after Aguinaldo paid P2.05 million, the SC said such a settlement “after the commission of the crime will not and does not extinguish petitioner’s liability for estafa.”

“The parties entering into an agreement with the private complainant expressing its unwillingness to participate in further proceedings after it receives monetary retribution, does not remove from the State the imprimatur of imposing the proper penalty for the commission of the said offense,” read the decision.

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