Fake teacher charged

Michael Vencynth Braga (The Freeman) - December 13, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - A woman is now facing a criminal case before a trial court in Cebu City for allegedly pretending to be a public school teacher in order to avail of an exclusive loan for teachers amounting to P130,000.

The Cebu City Prosecutor's Office found sufficient ground to hold Ruby Lazaga for trial for the crime of estafa punishable under the Revised Penal Code.

"Thus, upon examination of the documents submitted, indisputably, there exists probable cause to indict respondent (Lazaga) for the offense of Estafa. The documentary evidence shows that all of the elements of the offense are present," read part of the resolution of the prosecution office.

The case stemmed from the complaint of the lending company in Cebu City, which alleged that Lazaga pretended to be a teacher of Kamanggahan Elementary School in Carcar City to avail of the company's exclusive teacher salary loan amounting P130, 000.

In order to support her application, Lazaga submitted documents such as a Department of Education identification card, certification form from the DepEd certifying that she is a permanent teacher, GSIS ID, and two payslips.

The loan application was eventually granted.

The company said Lazaga was only able to pay the first few installments. Her last payment was only in September 2015 despite constant follow-up of her overdue amount.

The firm, however, was able to secure a certification from DepEd Carcar City Division that Lazaga is not a school teacher.

The representative of the loan firm also directed a staff to personally check the status of Lazaga at Kamanggahan Elementary School who later confirmed that Lazaga is not connected with the school as a teacher or employee.

The documents were also later discovered to be false.

A company's representative confronted Lazaga about the misrepresentation wherein she reportedly admitted that she only pretended to be a school teacher in order for her to obtain the loan, although she assured that she will fulfill her obligation to pay the full amount.

However, despite several demands, the obligation remains unpaid, which has already reached P197,000 due to penalties and surcharges. This prompted the company to lodge a complaint against Lazaga.

In her counter-affidavit, Lazaga alleged that it was the company representative (name withheld pending his comment) who offered her the loan even if he knew that Lazaga had no other means of income.

The representative allegedly assured her that he would take charge in the preparation of the documentary requirements.

But the prosecution said that Lazaga's bare denial is weak defense "that becomes even weaker in the face of the documentary evidence at hand."

"It is a well-settled doctrine that denial being a weak defense must be substantiated by a clean and convincing evidence to merit credibility," the prosecution said.

It added that Lazaga knew about her misrepresentation and should be held liable since she signed the document with a certification that the information provided by Lazaga was true and correct. (FREEMAN)

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