Abuse of trust

LAW EACH WEEK

Is there a difference between theft and qualified theft?

The difference is provided for in the Revised Penal Code. Article 308 affords that theft is committed by any person who, with intent to gain but without violence against or intimidation of persons nor force upon things, shall take personal property of another without the latter’s consent. While qualified theft as enunciated in Article 310 of the same code the crime of theft shall be punished by the penalties next higher by two degrees than those respectively specified in the next preceding article, if committed by a domestic servant, or with grave abuse of confidence, or if the property stolen is motor vehicle, mail matter or large cattle or consists of coconuts taken from the premises of the plantation or fish taken from a fishpond or fishery, or if property is taken on the occasion of fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any other calamity, vehicular accident or civil disturbance. (Amended by R.A. 120 and B.P. Blg. 71, May 1, 1980).

What are the elements of qualified theft?

The elements of the crime are: 1. Taking of personal property; 2. That the said property belongs to another; 3. That the said taking be done with intent to gain; 4. That it be done without the owners consent; 5. That it be accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation against persons, nor of force upon things; and 6. That it be done with grave abuse of confidence.

What is “grave abuse of confidence”?

Grave abuse of confidence, as an element of theft, must be the result of the relation by reason of dependence, guardianship, or vigilance, between the accused-appellant and the offended party that might