Illegal Possession And Use Of False Treasury Or Bank Notes And Other Instruments Of Credit


Illegal possession and use of false treasury or bank notes and other instruments of credit. - Unless the act be one of those coming under the provisions of any of the preceding articles, any person who shall knowingly use or have in his possession, with intent to use any of the false or falsified instruments referred to in this section, shall suffer the penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed in said articles.

1. That any treasury or bank note or certificate or other obligation and security payable to bearer, or any instrument payable to order or other document of credit not payable to bearer is forged or falsified by another person;
2. That the offender knows that any of those instruments is forged or falsified; and
3. That he performs any of these acts:
a. using any of such forged or falsified instruments, or
b. possessing with intent to use any of such forged or falsified instruments.

The act sought to be punished is knowingly possessing with intent to use any of such forged treasury or bank notes.

The accused has the burden to give a satisfactory explanation of his possession of forged bills. Mere possession of false money bill, without intent to use it to the damage of another, is not a crime.

People vs. Sendaydiego, 82 SCRA 120 (1978)
The rule is that if a person had in his possession a falsified document and he made use of it, taking advantage of it and profiting thereby, the presumption is that he is the material author of the falsification.

Bar Exam Question (1999)

False Notes; Illegal Possession (1999)
1. Is mere possession of false money bills punishable under Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code? Explain. 
2. The accused was caught in possession of 100 counterfeit P20 bills. He could not explain how and why he possessed the said bills. Neither could he explain what he intended to do with the fake bills. Can he be held criminally liable for such possession? Decide. 

Suggested Answer:
1. No. Possession of false treasury or bank note alone without an intent to use it, is not punishable. But the circumstances of such possession may indicate intent to utter, sufficient to consummate the crime of illegal possession of false notes.
2. Yes. Knowledge that the note is counterfeit and intent to use it may be shown by the conduct of the accused. So, possession of 100 false bills reveal: (a) knowledge that the bills are fake; and (b) intent to utter the same.