[Answer / discuss the question below. Or see 2014 bar exam Criminal Law Instructions; 2014 Commercial Law essay and multiple choice Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26; See also 2014 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]
Mr. Benjie is the owner of a hardware store specializing in the sale of plumbing materials. On February 1, 2014, Mr. Ed, a friend and regular customer of Mr. Benjie, visited the hardware store and purchased several plumbing materials in the total amount of P5 million. Mr. Benjie readily accepted Mr. Ed’s payment of three (3) postdated checks in the amount of P1 million Pesos each in view of the assurance of Mr. Ed that the checks will be honored upon presentment for payment. Mr. Benjie, as a consequence, immediately delivered the materials to the house of Mr. Ed. The following day, Mr. Ed went back to Mr. Benjie to tender another two (2) postdated checks in the amount of P1 million each to complete the payment, with the same assurance that the checks will be honored upon presentment for payment. When the checks were presented for payment, all were dishonored for insufficiency of funds and corresponding notices of dishonor were sent and received by Mr. Ed. One month after receipt of the notices of dishonor, Mr. Ed failed to make good the checks. Thereafter, Mr. Benjie filed before the public prosecutor’s office a complaint against Mr. Ed, although no demand letter was earlier sent to Mr. Ed.
During the preliminary investigation, Mr. Benjie accepted several amounts from Mr. Ed as partial payments. The wife of Mr. Benjie protested and insisted that the complaint should continue despite the partial payments. On the other hand, Mr. Ed counters that no demand letter was earlier sent to him, that the obligation is merely civil in character and that novation took place when Mr. Benjie accepted the partial payments. Discuss the criminal liability, if any, of Mr. Ed. (6%)