Petitioner filed a case against the private respondent for violation of BP 22. After numerous changes in the presiding judges, the public respondent assumed jurisdiction. Public respondent then rejects the appearance of petitioner’s private prosecutor claiming that as the BP 22 Law do not prescribe civil liability, only the criminal case may be prosecuted. Hence this case.
Whether complainant in a BP 22 is entitled for civil indemnity?
Yes, Article 20 of the New Civil Code provides Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same. Regardless, therefore, of whether or not a special law so provides, indemnification of the offended party may be had on account of the damage, loss or injury directly suffered as a consequence of the wrongful act of another. The indemnity which a person is sentenced to pay forms an integral part of the penalty imposed by law for the commission of a crime. Every crime gives rise to a penal or criminal action for the punishment of the guilty party, and also to civil action for the restitution of the thing, repair of the damage, and indemnification for the losses.
Indeed one cannot disregard the private party in the case at bar who suffered the offenses committed against her. Not only the State but the petitioner too is entitled to relief as a member of the public which the law seeks to protect. She was assured that the checks were good when she parted with money, property or services. She suffered with the State when the checks bounced.