Officers included in the preceding provisions


The provisions of this chapter shall apply to private individuals who in any capacity whatever, have charge of any insular, provincial or municipal funds, revenues, or property and to any administrator or depository of funds or property attached, seized or deposited by public authority, even if such property belongs to a private individual.


1. Private individual who, in any capacity, have charge of any national, provincial or municipal funds, revenue, or property.
Example: a withholding tax agent

2. Administrator or depositary of funds or property that has been attached, seized or deposited by public authority, even if owned by a private individual.

Sheriffs and receivers fall under the term “administrator”

Judicial administrator not covered by this article. (Appointed to administer estate of deceased and not in charge of property attached, impounded or placed in deposit by public authority)

Private property is included if it is attached, seized, or deposited by public authority.

Bar Exam Question (2001)

Malversation; Properties; Custodia Legis (2001)

Accused Juan Santos, a deputy sheriff in a Regional Trial Court, levied on the personal properties of a defendant in a civil case before said court, pursuant to a writ of execution duly issued by the court. Among the properties levied upon and deposited inside the "evidence room" of the Clerk of Court for Multiple RTC Salas were a refrigerator, a stock of cassette tapes, a dining table set of chairs and several lampshades. Upon the defendant's paying off the judgment creditor, he tried to claim his properties but found out that several items were missing, such as the cassette tapes, chairs and lampshades. After due and diligent sleuthing by the police detectives assigned to the case, these missing items were found in the house of accused Santos, who reasoned out that he only borrowed them temporarily. If you were the fiscal /prosecutor, what would be the nature of the information to be filed against the accused? Why?

Suggested Answer:

If I were the fiscal/prosecutor, I would file an information for Malversation against Juan Santos for the cassette tapes, chain and lampshades which he, as deputy sheriff, levied upon and thus under his accountability as a public officer. Said properties being under levy, are in custodia legis and thus impressed with the character of public property, misappropriation of which constitutes the crime of malversation although said properties belonged to a private individual (Art. 222, RPC). Juan Santos misappropriated such properties when, in breach of trust, he applied them to his own private use and benefit. His allegation that he only borrowed such properties is a lame excuse, devoid of merit as there is no one from whom he borrowed the same. The fact that it was only "after due and diligent sleuthing by the police detectives assigned to the case", that the missing items were found in the house of Santos, negates his pretension.

Alternative Answer:

An information for Theft may be filed, considering that the sheriff had already deposited the properties levied upon in the "evidence room" of the Clerk of Court and may have already been relieved of his accountability therefor. If Juan Santos was no longer the public officer who should be accountable for the properties levied upon and found in his house, his taking of such properties would no longer constitute Malversation but Theft, as there was taking with intent to gain, of personal property of another without the consent of the latter.