ELEMENTS OF INFIDELITY IN CUSTODY OF DOCUMENTS:
1. That the offender be a public officer;
2. That he abstracts, destroys or conceals a document or papers
3. That the said document or paper should have been entrusted to
such public officer by reason of his office; and
4. That damage, whether serious or not, to a third party or to
the public interest should have been caused.
The document must be complete and one by which a right could be
established or an obligation could be extinguished.
Books, periodicals, pamphlets, etc. are not documents.
“Papers” would include checks, promissory notes and paper money.
A post office official who retained the mail without forwarding
the letters to their destination is guilty of infidelity in the
custody of papers.
Removal of a document or paper must be for an illicit purpose.
There is illicit purpose when the intention of the offender is to:
a. tamper with it,
b. to profit by it, or
c. to commit any act constituting a breach of trust in the
official care thereof.
Removal is consummated upon removal or secreting away of the
document from its usual place. It is immaterial whether or not
the illicit purpose of the offender has been accomplished.
Infidelity in the custody of documents through destruction or
concealment does not require proof of an illicit purpose.
Delivering the document to the wrong party is infidelity in the
The damage may either be great or small.
Can only be committed by the public officer who is made the
custodian of the document in his official capacity. If the
officer was placed in possession of the document but it is
not his duty to be the custodian thereof, this crime is not
The offender must be in custody of such documents because of
his official capacity.
Damage to public interest is necessary. However, material
damage is not necessary.
Damage in this article may consist in mere alarm to the public
or in the alienation of its confidence in any branch of the