FACTS: From June to August, 1991, petitioner, a Marikina-based manufacturer and seller of shoes, purchased materials from respondent Agustin Alarilla, a seller of leather products from Meycauayan, Bulacan, for which the former issued a total of 26 postdated checks against his account with the Associated Bank and Far East Bank & Trust Company (Marikina Branches). When private respondent presented these checks for encashment, they were dishonored because the accounts against which they were drawn were closed. Private respondent informed petitioner of the dishonor and demanded payment of their value. After some negotiations, petitioner drew and delivered a new set of postdated checks in replacement of the dishonored ones. Private respondent, in turn, returned to petitioner the originals of the dishonored postdated checks but retained photocopies thereof. When private respondent deposited the replacement checks in his account with the Westmont Bank, these were also dishonored by the drawee bank. As a result, the private respondent filed criminal complaints against petitioner for violation of BP 22 with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Bulacan. After preliminary investigation, the Provincial Prosecutor filed 26 Informations against petitioner with the RTC of Bulacan for violation of BP 22, entitled People v. Josef, Criminal Case Nos. 2113-M-93 to 2138-M-93, for the original 26 postdated checks.
The trial court convicted petitioner on all counts and imposed the penalty of six months for each conviction. The Court of Appeals, in the assailed decision, affirmed the trial court.
ISSUE: won the photocopy of check is admissible.
HELD: Yes. By admitting that the originals were in his possession and even producing them in open court, petitioner cured whatever flaw might have existed in the prosecution’s evidence. The fact that these originals were all stamped “account closed” merely confirmed the allegations of the respondent that the checks were dishonored by reason of the account being closed. Because they were entirely consistent with its main theory, the prosecution correctly adopted these originals as its own evidence. In addition, by petitioner’s own admission, five of the original checks were lost, thus rendering the photocopies thereof admissible as exceptions to the Best Evidence Rule.