DATE February 10, 2009

2009 DRUGS CASES CASES VIOLATION DOCTRINE PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Sections 5 In People v. Cueno, the failure to present the marked money in evidence is not PHILIPPINES vs. and 11, Article II of indispensable for the conviction of the accused, as long as the sale can be WILFREDO Republic Act (R.A.) No. adequately proved in some other way by the prosecution. The production of the ENCILA Y SUNGA 9165 or the Comprehensive marked money recovered from the possession of accused-appellant further G.R. No. 182419 Dangerous Drugs Act of strengthened the testimony of the prosecution witnesses that a buy-bust operation was conducted. (359 Phil. 151, 162 (1998)) 2002 The defense did not adduce any evidence that could have shown that the policemen deviated from the regular performance of their duty and that could have overcome this presumption. Neither did the defense interpose any evidence to show that said police officers were not performing their duty properly when the buy-bust operation was conducted. When the police officers involved in the buy-bust operation have no motive to falsely testify against the accused, the courts shall uphold the presumption that they have performed their duties regularly. (People v. Villanueva, G.R. No. 172116, 30 October 2006, 506 SCRA 280, 288) And unless there is clear and convincing evidence to the contrary suggesting ill motive on the part of the police officers or deviation from the regular performance of their duties, their testimonies with respect to the operation deserve full faith and credit. (People v. De Guzman, G.R. No. 177569, 28 November 2007, 539 SCRA 306, 317) The presumption in favor of the prosecution witnesses, who are all police officers, taken together with the overwhelming evidence presented by the prosecution against the accused, should therefore stand. PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Section 5, PHILIPPINES vs. Article II of Republic Act RUIZ GARCIA y (R.A.) No. 9165 RUIZ G.R. No. 173480 CONVICTED A buy-bust operation gave rise to the present case. While this kind of operation has been proven to be an effective way to flush out illegal transactions that are otherwise conducted covertly and in secrecy, a buy-bust operation has a significant downside that has not escaped the attention of the framers of the law. It is susceptible to police abuse, the most notorious of which is its use as a tool for extortion. (People v. Jocson, G.R. No. 169875, December 18, 2007, 540 SCRA 585, 592) In People v. Tan, this Court itself recognized that “by the very nature of anti narcotics operations, the need for entrapment procedures, the use of shady characters as informants, the ease with which sticks of marijuana or grams of

February 25, 2009

No. 61. 2000.R. No. The dangerous drug is the very corpus delicti of the crime of violation of the said Act.. 133001. There was likewise no explanation offered for the failure to observe the rule.R. Pagaura. 2008) It is thus essential that the prohibited drug confiscated or recovered from the suspect is the very same substance offered in court as exhibit. 348 SCRA 116. 177220 . 2008.A. specific procedures relating to the seizure and custody of drugs have been laid down in the law (R. G. 2007. October 17. Gireng. The prosecution must adduce evidence that these procedures have been followed in proving the elements of the defined offense. G. 536 SCRA 489. There was no physical inventory and photograph of the items allegedly confiscated from appellant. Salvador Sanchez y Espiritu. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 ACQUITTED The Court notes further that nothing on record shows compliance by the buy-bust team with the procedural requirements of Section 21. citing People v. July 31.R. 173051. The “chain of custody” requirement performs this fu nction in that it ensures that unnecessary doubts concerning the identity of the evidence are removed. October 15. citing People v. (G. G. December 14. 553 SCRA 619. Jr. Article II of Republic Act (R. 120. 267 SCRA 17 (1997)) SUSAN SALES Y  Violation of Section 5. The failure of the police to comply with the procedure in the custody of seized drugs raises doubt as to their origins. paragraph 1 of Article II of R. (Malillin v. (People v.R. the possibility of abuse is great. No. courts have been exhorted to be extra vigilant in trying drug cases lest an innocent person is made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses. 175832.” Accordingly. 9165 with respect to custody and disposition of confiscated drugs. No. Mendiola. and the secrecy that inevitably shrouds all drug deals. Santos.A.) No. (People v. See also People of the Philippines v. and that the identity of said drug be established with the same unwavering exactitude as that requisite to make a finding of guilt. 2007. People. the existence of all dangerous drugs is a sine qua non for conviction. April 30. 235 SCRA 116. 182296 ACQUITTED In all prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Orteza. No. JIMENA vs. No. 175593. 632)  Violation of Sections 5 and 11.) No. Kimura. (Vide People v. 172953. No. Article II of Republic Act PEOPLE OF THE (R. 9165) for the police to strictly follow. Thus.A. 505) April 7. 126-127. 2009 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. 2009 April 24. 9165 PHILIPPINES G.R. 130805. No.R. No. 241 SCRA 11 (1995) and People v. April 27.heroin can be planted in pockets of or hands of unsuspecting provincial hicks. No. RUBEN ROBLES y NOVILINIO G.A. 528 SCRA 750. G.R. G. 758) and negates the operation of the presumption of regularity accorded to police officers. 428 SCRA 51. 2004.R.

August 31. 2009 PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Sections 5 PHILIPPINES vs. Larry Lopez. G. No.A. September 26.R. Mateo (People v. G. 466 Phil 791. April 23. 395) and People v. the object. In this case. G. 2008.) No. Yuan. the Court held that the period of imprisonment imposed on the accused should not be a straight penalty. No.June 22. and consideration. While the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty by law enforcement agents should not by itself prevail over the presumption of innocence. 179036. lest an innocent person be made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses. Adam.R. “Drug addiction is one of the most pernicious evils that has ever crept into our society.A. G. (People v. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for it. 459 Phil.R. 531 SCRA 828. 179940. 449. No. Mateo. and 11. G. it has been shown that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items had been preserved. 2008). Naquita. 9165 BIAZON G. People v. supra note 23. July 28. 2007. July 28. No. Courts must be vigilant in trying drug charges. No. 552 SCRA 627. 181747. Pringas. 181441. 175928. RICHIE TEODORO 9165 or the Comprehensive G. G. November 14. No.) No. Larry Lopez (People of the Philippines v.R. Thus. PHILIPPINES vs. 2008) In People v. (People of the Philippines v. (People v. 842-843) Apart from his defense that he is a victim of a frame-up and extortion by the police officers. (People of the Philippines v.R. it is the young who are the victims. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items. 636. 676. Narciso Agulay y Lopez. No.R. equally reprehensible is the police practice of using the law as a tool for extorting money from hapless victims. for the claim of frame-up to prosper. but should be an indeterminate penalty.R. 560 SCRA 430. 684 (2003)) . 807-808 (2004)) July 23. People v. On the other hand. Marilyn Naquita. Article II of FREDERICK Republic Act (R. the defense must be able to present clear and convincing evidence to overcome this presumption of regularity. Article II of Republic Act ELSIE BARBA y (R.R. appellant’s claim must fail. 182420 CONVICTED The essential elements in a prosecution for sale of illegal drugs are: (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller. accused-appellant could not present any other viable defense. Del Monte. as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. 180511.” More often than not. 560 SCRA 375. 2009 PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Section 5. 185164 Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 ACQUITTED Non-compliance with Section 21 will not render an accused’s arrest illegal or the items seized or confiscated from him inadmissible. 2008. 2008. citing People v. No.

March 17. from the moment the item was picked up to the time it is offered into evidence. proof of its identity. the fact that the substance illegally possessed and sold in the first place is the same substance offered in court as exhibit must likewise be established with the same degree of certitude as that needed to sustain a guilty verdict. or substitution.S. 2008. Likewise absent from the evidence is any . and presentation in court are crucial. In Espinoza v.E. In People v. G. 181494. 633) The more fungible the evidence. Sanchez.R. and to its introduction at trial. December 27. Apart from showing that the elements of possession or sale are present. the more significant its condition.R. Criminal Law § 1142) In Malillin v. (People v. 2008. No. the more elaborate the foundation must be. State. 175832. Cervantes. October 15. 2006) In a prosecution for sale of illegal drugs. an adequate foundation establishing a continuous chain of custody is said to have been established if the State accounts for the evidence at each stage from its acquisition to its testing. we laid down the chain of custody requirements that must be met in proving that the seized drugs are the same ones presented in court: (1) testimony about every link in the chain. (859 N. this foundation takes more significance because of the nature of the evidence involved. People. No.R. the accused was acquitted since the prosecution did not make known the identities of the police officers to whom custody of the seized drugs was entrusted after the buy-bust operation. it must be shown that there has been no tampering. People. or the higher its susceptibility to change. 569 SCRA 194). Sanchez. (23 C. 2009) The identity of the subject substance is established by showing the chain of custody. The identity of the prohibited drug must be established with moral certainty.The prohibited drug is an integral part of the corpus delicti of the crime of possession or selling of regulated/prohibited drug. A conviction cannot be sustained if there is a persistent doubt on the identity of the drug. (People v. 172953. In those circumstances. G. G. No. and (2) witnesses should describe the precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the chain to have possession of the item. existence. alteration. April 30. 553 SCRA 619. (Malillin v.2d 375.J.

obviating switching. this Court has consistently held that failure of the authorities to immediately mark the seized drugs raises reasonable doubt on the authenticity of the corpus delicti and suffices to rebut the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties. 2009 . Cervantes. 173480. we held that the failure to mark the drugs immediately after they were seized from the accused casts doubt on the prosecution evidence. and the person who acted as custodian of the drugs after their analysis. Casimiro. (G.R. August 14. a total of five (5) links in the chain of custody were not presented in court: the desk officer who received the drugs at the police station. 2009) In People v. and 11. CORECHE y 9165 or the Comprehensive CABER Dangerous Drugs Act of G. These rulings are refinements of our holdings in People v. the recipient of the drugs at the forensic laboratory. The marking of the evidence serves to separate the marked evidence from the corpus of all other similar or related evidence from the time they are seized from the accused until they are disposed of at the end of criminal proceedings. No. Mapa and People v. February 25. Although the non-presentation of some of the witnesses who can attest to an unbroken chain of evidence may in some instances be excused. No. the forensic chemist who did the examination of the drugs.” or contamination of evidence. Dismuke that doubts on the authenticity of the drug specimen occasioned by the prosecution’s failure to prove that the evidence submitted for chemic al analysis is the same as the one seized from the accused suffice to warrant acquittal on reasonable doubt.) No. Thus. 182528 2002 ACQUITTED Crucial in proving chain of custody is the marking of the seized drugs or other related items immediately after they are seized from the accused. Article II of MARIAN Republic Act (R. the unnamed person who delivered the drugs to the forensic laboratory. In People v. the doctrinal fallback of every drugrelated prosecution. Long before Congress passed RA 9165. there should be a justifying factor for the prosecution to dispense with their testimonies.testimony on the whereabouts of the drugs after they were analyzed by the forensic chemist. PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Sections 5 PHILIPPINES vs. Laxa and People v.R. in People v. Garcia. thus it is vital that the seized contraband are immediately marked because succeeding handlers of the specimens will use the markings as reference.A. warranting acquittal on reasonable doubt. Marking after seizure is the starting point in the custodial link. “planting. the conviction was overturned due in part to the failure of the state to show who delivered the drugs to the forensic laboratory and who had custody of them after their examination by the forensic chemist and pending their presentation in court.

All told. absent any showing that certain facts of weight and substance bearing on the elements of the crime have August 27. is not conclusive. Not only is it rebutted by contrary proof. even finality. a prohibited drug. its factual findings are accorded respect. the lower courts inevitably relied on the evidentiary presumption that official duties have been regularly performed. This presumption. is best left to the trial court which had the unique opportunity to observe their demeanor. This Court has access only to the cold and impersonal records of the proceedings. Thereafter. RANDY MAGBANUA alias “BOYUNG” and WILSON MAGBANUA .  Violation of Section 8. 2009 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. the mere possession of any prohibited drug consummates the crime. were positively identified as marijuana. as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. raising reasonable doubt on the authenticity of the corpus delicti. what is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items. Article II of Republic Act (R. Well-settled is the rule that prosecutions involving the possession of illegal drugs depend largely on the credibility of the police officer. Hence. 6425 ACQUITTED Under this Section. Alvin Pringas.In sustaining the prosecution’s case.A. without legal authority. Here. as here. Cañete. 433 Phil. the Court relies heavily on the rule that the weighing of evidence. 781 (2002)) to the constitutional presumption of innocence. particularly when there are conflicts in the testimonies of witnesses. upon laboratory examination. are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team. The charge of illegal possession of marijuana was proven beyond reasonable doubt as it was found at the back seat of the car with accused-appellants. As held by the Court in People v.) No. The seized drugs were immediately marked for proper identification. the Supreme Court finds merit in appellant’s claim that the prosecution failed to discharge its burden of proving her guilt beyond reasonable doubt due to substantial gaps in the chain of custody. Thus. and manner while testifying. the failure to issue a receipt will not render the items seized/confiscated inadmissible as evidence. As long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the confiscated/seized items. The four (4) bricks of dried suspected marijuana found in the accused-appellants’ possession. they were forwarded to the Crime Laboratory for examination. it must be emphasized. the integrity and the evidentiary value of the items involved were safeguarded. but it is also inferior (People v. conduct.

SALONGA  Violation of Section 5 of Article II of Republic Act No. Once known. As this Court recently observed in People v. it must be credible and believable. Intelligence agents. 2000. 516 SCRA 513) Thus. March 7. Article II of Republic Act (R. after all. ROSEMARIE R. No. raising doubts as to the preservation of the integrity of the evidence. We are not ready to affirm a conviction in the face of such flimsy and contradictory excuses for why the evidence was improperly handled. 2009 GILBERT ZALAMEDA vs. may be the object of revenge by the criminals they implicate. 177220. 2007. No. 2009 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. G. With the testimonies of the arresting officers. G. qualities we cannot ascribe to this case. February 17. 131872-73. and that the identity of said drug be established with the same unwavering exactitude as that requisite to make a . 325 SCRA 776. (People v. G. worse. Major lapses were not explained.R. Nos. People. No. 778) CONVICTED The settled rule is that the presentation of an informant in an illegal drugs case is not essential for conviction nor is it indispensable for a successful prosecution because his testimony would be merely corroborative and cumulative. to our mind.a. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G. 183656  Violation of Section 11.R. we do not find any necessity for additional corroborating testimony. Lopez. February 23. justify the buy-bust team’s non-compliance.A. No. Willy Tan. 2009). No. merely corroborative and cumulative. The varying reasons the prosecution proffered as to why there was a departure from the procedure found in RA 9165 do not.) No. (See Dimacuha v. 1999. Boco: (G. informants are usually not presented in court because of the need to hide their identities and preserve their invaluable service to the police. 309 SCRA 42) Under the circumstances. 129676.R. Chen Tiz Chang and Cheng Jung San a.R. and negates the operation of the presumption of regularity accorded to police officers. the failure of the police to comply with the procedure in the custody of seized drugs raises doubt as to their origins. particularly that of the confidential informant. nor are they indispensable to a successful prosecution.September 4. they would be. (See People v. are often not called to testify in court so as not to reveal their identities publicly. 143705. To emphasize the importance of the corpus delicti in drug charges. they could no longer be used again and. 517 SCRA 749) Moreover. we have held that it is essential that the prohibited drug confiscated or recovered from the suspect is the very same substance offered in court as exhibit. (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 CONVICTED While a lone witness’ testimony is sufficient to convict an accused. April 24.R. 2007. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 been overlooked. October 2.k. The prevailing doctrine is that their testimonies are not essential for conviction. we held in People v. Robles (G. June 23.R. 172369. due to the nature of their work. misapprehended or misapplied.

9165 or in any rule implementing the same that imposes such a requirement. No.  Violation of 15 and 16. Article III of Republic Act No. No evidence was ever adduced showing that the accused-appellant had authority to possess these regulated drugs.R. Hence. a. People. As long as the chain of custody of the seized drug was clearly established not to have been broken and that the prosecution did not fail to identify properly the drugs seized. 2009) This requirement is found wanting in this case. Hernandez. it is not indispensable that each and every person who came into possession of the drugs should take the witness stand. BERNARDINO alias ONAT October 16. the October 2. we are unable to say with certainty that the identity of the seized drugs is intact and its evidentiary value undiminished. the surrounding circumstances indicate the accused-appellant’s knowledge of the drugs in his possession. 2009 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. May 28. Article II of Republic Act No. we find that the prosecution has not been able to prove the guilt of accused-appellant beyond reasonable doubt. 18 June 2009) In People v. as discussed. There is nothing in Republic Act No. . we find that the chain of custody of the seized substance was not broken and that the prosecution did not fail to identify properly the drugs seized in this case.a JUN LAZARO y AQUINO.R. being an internal act. 430 SCRA 134)  Violation of Sections 5. the drugs were found inside his clothing. April 7. Zeng Hua Dian. G. (G. No. 182296. Tira. G.finding of guilt.k. For this reason. JR. Knowledge. otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 CONVICTED Not all people who came into contact with the seized drugs are required to testify in court. may be presumed from the failure of the accused to explain why the drug was in a place over which the accused exercised dominion and control. The weakness of accused-appellant’s defense is no longer material as the prosecution was not able to overcome the presumption of innocence accused-appellant enjoys. Lastly. (People v. LEONARD L. G. 9165. and 15. 139615. 432 SCRA 25. the evidence custodian. 184804. In this case. The only explanation offered – police frame-up – is. No. 32) the Supreme Court ruled: After a thorough review of the records of this case. (Sales v.R. 145348. With the buy-bust team’s unwarranted noncompliance with the chain of custody procedure. a discredited one. 2004. 6425 ACQUITTED Actual possession exists when the drug is in the immediate physical possession or control of the accused. such explanation was glaringly lacking. knowing possession of the shabu by the accused-appellant is presumed under the circumstances.R. 11. In this case. (People v. The non-presentation as witnesses of other persons such as SPO1 Grafia. ALFREDO LAZARO. and PO3 Alamia. 2009 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. 14 June 2004. No.

in order for the Court to appreciate these defenses.  CONVICTED Denial and frame-up as defenses are inherently weak and have always been viewed by the Court with disfavor. is not a crucial point against the prosecution. Article II of Republic Act PEOPLE OF THE (RA) No. February 24. 150624. No. 2009 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. G. 185381 . there must be such clear and convincing evidence to prove such defenses. (People v. 2009) on chain of custody rule is instructive. 9165 (The PHILIPPINES Comprehensive Dangerous G. In fighting the drug menace in our midst. The ill effects of their trade far outweigh any consideration police officers may have in trying to put a stop to its spread. November 27. The prosecution has the discretion as to how to present its case and it has the right to choose whom it wishes to present as witnesses. Gutierrez (G.R. No.R. our ruling in People v. G. It has caused tremendous sufferings and difficulties not only to drug users but to their families as well. CONVICTED 2010 DRUGS CASES DATE January 22. 2009) Likewise.R. for they can easily be invented and these are common defenses in most prosecutions for violations of RA 9165. December 4. It has ruined the future of the youths who have succumbed to its promise of momentary bliss only to lose opportunities to lead meaningful and productive lives later. we should not be hindered by technicalities that those engaged in the trade claim were committed by authorities in curtailing their activities. No. 423 SCRA 652. in the absence of any ill motive on the part of the police authorities to falsely impute such crime against appellant. 177777. 2004. No. the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty stands. PRIETO vs. DANILO CRUZ y CULALA G. 185379.officer on duty. the chain of custody rule requires the presentation of the seized prohibited drugs as an exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what the proponent December 16. Thus: As a mode of authenticating evidence. No. (People v. Dulay. 662) Thus. 180870 Drugs Act of 2002) DOCTRINE It must be stressed that the “corpus delicti in dangerous drugs cases constitutes the drug itself. The matter of presentation of witnesses by the prosecution is not for the court to decide.R.R. 2010 CASES VIOLATION JULIUS CACAO y  Violation of Section 11. otherwise. Quebral. This means that proof beyond reasonable doubt of the identity of the prohibited drug is essential”. There is no denying the fact that dealing in illegal drugs has brought untold miseries to many members of our society.

Moreover. Bandoc. Having been caught in flagrante delicto.) No. in such a way that everyone who touched the exhibit would describe how and from whom it was received. must simply fail. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Section 5. 186471 ACQUITTED Here. like alibi. the finding of a dangerous drug in the house or within the premises of the house of the accused is prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi and is enough to convict in the absence of a satisfactory explanation. appellant was caught in actual possession of the prohibited drugs without showing any proof that he was duly authorized by law to possess them. 23 Phil. PHILIPPINES vs. are accorded respect when no glaring errors. during his testimony and in his Appellant's Brief. or speculative. Frame-up. For this claim to prosper. PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Sections 5 and PHILIPPINES vs. The reason for this is that the trial court is in a better position to decide the credibility of witnesses. According to him.claims it to be. 2010 February 9. the defense must adduce clear and convincing evidence to overcome the presumption that government officials have performed their duties in a regular and proper manner. This would ideally cover the testimony about every link in the chain. v. No. CONVICTED Prosecutions involving illegal drugs depend largely on the credibility of the police officers who conducted the buy-bust operation. appellant’s plain denial of the offenses charged. to include. there is prima facie evidence of animus possidendi on appellant’s part. as much as possible.A. 11. gross misapprehension of facts. Saidamen Macatingag) Accused-appellant. unsubstantiated by any credible and convincing evidence.S. arbitrary. he was just having breakfast when the members of the buy-bust team suddenly barged inside the house and arrested him. Article II of Republic RODANTE DE Act No. a description of the condition in which it was delivered to the next in the chain. (People v. It is a fundamental rule that findings of the trial courts. having heard their testimonies and observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. merely denied the charge against him. As held by this Court. is generally viewed with caution by this Court. January 25. 9165 VILLAMIN Y SAN JOSE ALIAS ANDOY . (U. appellant failed to present any evidence to rebut his animus possidendi of the shabu found in his pocket during the buy-bust operation. because it is easy to contrive and difficult to disprove. 15 (1912)) In the case at bar. from seizure of the prohibited drug up to the time it is offered in evidence.R. (RA) 9165 or the LEON y DELA Comprehensive Dangerous ROSA Drugs Act of 2002 G. and unsupported conclusions can be gathered from such findings. 14. Article II of Republic Act FERNANDO (R. The rule finds an even more stringent application where said findings are sustained by the Court of Appeals. which are factual in nature and which involve credibility. Against the positive testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. it is a common and standard line of defense in prosecutions of violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

No. or that the entire operation was coupled with any improper motive. still. April 23. finds the said argument to be preposterous. FERNANDO HABANA y ORANTE G.Unfortunately. PO1 Paras said that he turned over the sachets of shabu to the investigator on duty. the prosecution must ensure that the substance presented in court is the same substance seized from the accused. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. how these got to the laboratory technician. such officers must present justifiable reason for their imperfect conduct and show that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items had been preserved. the accused-appellant miserably failed to present any evidence that the members of the buy-bust operation team did not properly perform their duty. Since it is unavoidable that possession of the substance March 5. G. R. He claims that he was not given the opportunity to know the reason for his arrest. Ara. 552 SCRA 627) As an added argument. he was arrested while committing a crime -. from when the police officers seized them from Habana to the time they were presented in court as evidence. December 23. G. 188900 .  Violation of Sections 5 and 11. is what is demanded of police officers attending to drugs cases. Section 5(a) of the Rules of Court. the accused-appellant questions the legality of his arrest. a circumstance where warrantless arrest is justified under Rule 113. and that the arresting officers were not armed with any warrant for arrest. however. But the prosecution did not adduce evidence on what the investigator on duty did with the seized articles. the police officer who seizes the suspected substance turns it over to a supervising officer. and from the evidence for the prosecution. Usually.peddling of illegal drugs. No. (People v.A. No. 2008.A. they failed to meet these conditions. however.R. (People v. While this Court recognizes substantial adherence to the requirements of R. Article II of Republic Act (R. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 CONVICTED The chain of custody rule requires that testimony be presented about every link in the chain. and how they were kept before being adduced in evidence at the trial.) No. To this end. Here. 185011. from the moment the item was seized up to the time it is offered in evidence. 2009) The prosecution failed to show how the seized items changed hands. This Court. It must be remembered that the accused-appellant was the subject of a buy-bust operation. who would then send it by courier to the police crime laboratory for testing. 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations.R. 179940. the main goal of which was to catch him in flagrante selling shabu. del Monte. The police officers offered no explanation for their failure to observe the chain of custody rule. not perfect adherence.

although unsealed. Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9165. August 14. 21(a). the officer should put it in one and seal the same. he should put his own mark on the plastic container and seal it again with a new seal since the police officer’s seal has been broken. which is the corpus delicti of each of the crimes charged against Habana. his acquittal is in order Although the non-presentation of some of the witnesses who can attest to an unbroken chain of custody of evidence may. Cervantes. has not been tampered with or substituted while in his care. G. (People v. Denoman explains that the aforementioned provision contains a saving mechanism to ensure that not every case of non-compliance will permanently prejudice the prosecution’s case. 2009. the officer can then identify the seized substance and the procedure he observed to preserve its integrity until it reaches the crime laboratory. the technician can then describe the sealed condition of the plastic container when it was handed to him and testify on the procedure he took afterwards to preserve its integrity. May 14. No. (G. 182420. no matter how b riefly one’s possession has been. G. If the substance is not in a plastic container. citing People v. the prosecution would have to present every police officer. it is imperative for the officer who seized the substance from the suspect to place his marking on its plastic container and seal the same. NORMAN SITCO (RA) 6425 or The and RAYMUNDO Dangerous Drugs Act of BAGTAS 1972 (deceased) G. 2009. in some instances. If the sealing of the seized substance has not been made. 2009.changes hand a number of times. at 270) In this case. and 16 of Republic Act No. Denoman. March 17. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Sections 15 PHILIPPINES vs. In this way the substance would assuredly reach the laboratory in the same condition it was seized from the accused. (People v. after the laboratory technician tests and verifies the nature of the substance in the container. Each of them has to testify that the substance. 596 SCRA 257) the Court discussed the saving mechanism provided by Sec. No. there should be a justifying factor for the prosecution to dispense with their testimonies. 719. Further. No. laboratory technician. preferably with adhesive tape that cannot be removed without leaving a tear on the plastic container. the prosecution did not even acknowledge and discuss the reasons for the missing links in the chain. 181494. 178202 . July 23. The saving mechanism applies when the prosecution recognizes and explains the lapse or lapses in the prescribed procedures. messenger. Barba. supra note 28. 593 SCRA 711.R.R.R. 581 SCRA 762) In ------People v. the entire chain of custody. No. 171732. At the trial.R. Denoman. At the trial. and storage personnel. be excused. Since the failure in this case to comply with the procedure in the custody of seized drugs compromised the identity and integrity of the items seized.

R. (Catuiran v. 516 SCRA 621.R. No. 552 SCRA 627 (2008)) While it is true that the arresting officer failed to state explicitly the justifiable ground for non-compliance with Section 21. citing People v. 436-437.) No. G. 587 SCRA 809)  Violation of Sections 5 and 11. fatally conflicts with every proposition relative to the culpability of the accused.R. People. People v. No. As in People v.R. the broken chain of custody over the marijuana and shabu in the instant case creates reasonable doubt on accusedappellant’s guilt. this does not necessarily mean that appellant’s arrest was illegal or that the items seized are inadmissible. this Court has already previously held that non-compliance with Section 21 is not fatal and will not render an accused’s arrest illegal. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. 556 SCRA 421. Partoza. June 27. that appellant was not accompanied by counsel. 2009. Del Monte. (People v.A. 175928. appellant June 16. (G.R. and that no representative from the media and the DOJ were present. 531 SCRA 828. Sta. (See People v. Concepcion. Article II of Republic Act (R. Pringas.To reiterate. in prosecutions involving dangerous drugs. May 8. No. or make the items seized inadmissible. 178876. August 31. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items. 2007. 182418. No. February 23. we declared that the failure of the prosecution to offer the testimony of key witnesses to establish a sufficiently complete chain of custody of a specimen of shabu. 2009. G. G. 2008. 2007. Maria. No. and the irregularity which characterized the handling of the evidence before it was finally offered in court. the police officer testifying did not relate to whom the custody of the drugs was turned over. 633) Even assuming that the police officers failed to abide by Section 21. 587 SCRA 567) Taken with the uncorroborated testimony of Buan. However. The justifiable ground will remain unknown because appellant did not question the custody and disposition of the items taken from her during the trial. the substance itself constitutes the key part of the corpus delicti of the offense and the fact of its existence is vital to sustain a judgment of conviction beyond reasonable doubt. BELEN MARIACOS G. 171019. May 8. In Partoza. this case suffers from the failure of the prosecution witness to provide the details establishing an unbroken chain of custody. 188611 . The evidence of the prosecution likewise did not disclose the identity of the person who had the custody and safekeeping of the drugs after its examination and pending presentation in court. In a string of cases. 175647.R. No. G. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 ACQUITTED It is admitted that there were no photographs taken of the drugs seized.

PHILIPPINES vs. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Section 5. while the forensic chemist duly July 6. The evidence did not establish the unbroken chain of custody. 179029 August 25. absent any convincing proof to the contrary. 539 SCRA 198. People v. and 11. Nor was any stipulation made to this effect. Courts accord credence and full faith to the testimonies of police authorities. (People v. in relation to the procedural rules on the chain of custody. enjoyed the presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions. 223) PEOPLE OF THE  Violations of Sections 5 PHILIPPINES vs. If the prosecution has not proved. is indispensable to overcome this constitutional presumption. most particularly the presumption of innocence bestowed on the appellant. ACQUITTED The Supreme Court is not unmindful of the pernicious effects of drugs in our society. and took out some of the substances for chemical analysis. all the elements of the crime charged.) No. and engender crimes. she is deemed to have waived any objection on the matter.) No.R. and was brought from the crime laboratory by someone who did not care to testify how he came to be in possession of the same. 2010 August 12. as they are presumed to be performing their duties regularly. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Section 5. She could have moved for the quashal of the information at the first instance. Bernardino where the accused was convicted of illegal possession but acquitted of illegal sale of shabu due to doubts as to the chain of custody is not on four squares with the present case. the forensic chemist broke the seal.A. although the plastic sachets that the forensic chemist received were heat-sealed and authenticated by the police officer with his personal markings. Further. 9165 PAGADUAN y TAMAYO G. In said case. then the appellant deserves no less than an acquittal. The plastic sachets apparently showed up at the pre-trial. No. 9165 . which in this case is the corpus delicti. November 28.) No. G. Article II of Republic Act FEDERICO (R. The Court is one with all the agencies concerned in pursuing an intensive and unrelenting campaign against this social dilemma.R. we cannot disregard the protection provided by the Constitution. G. No.R. Santiago. not bearing the forensic chemist’s seal.A. Article II of NOEL CATENTAY Republic Act (R. No evidence had been adduced to show that the forensic chemist properly closed and resealed the plastic sachets with adhesive and placed his own markings on the resealed plastic to preserve the integrity of their contents until they were brought to court. they are lingering maladies that destroy families and relationships. But she did not. 2007. No. PHILIPPINES vs. Regardless of how much we want to curb this menace. Hence. the actions of the police officers. 175326. in the first place. Proof beyond reasonable doubt.A. 183101 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 CONVICTED In this case. Article II of Republic Act FELIMON (R.should have raised this issue before the trial court. or that quantum of proof sufficient to produce moral certainty that would convince and satisfy the conscience of those who act in judgment. opened the plastic sachet.

October 6. 31 January 2006. (Vide People v. To be guilty as a conspirator. 181747. the accused needs to have done an overt act in pursuit of the crime. (Aquino v. the conclusion that “no clear specific link exists between the examined specimen and the shabu allegedly sold at the buy-bust except by inference. CESAR NARANJO y RIVERA and EDWIN SAN JOSE y TABING. ACQUITTED . No. Cajigas v. 2008.CAMPOS RANILE G. G.R.R. 9165 or OLIVE RUBIO the Comprehensive MAMARIL Dangerous Drugs Act of G.R. her testimony merely referred to the specimens submitted by the apprehending officer.R. G. PHILIPPINES vs. For. G. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Section 5. 566 SCRA 571) September 15. 602 SCRA 270) Appellant’s defense of frame-up fails. hence. 171980 2002 . 67) While the testimonies of the three other accused were inconsistent in some material points. 181422 CONVICTED A person’s mere presence when an illegal transaction had taken place does not mean that he was into the conspiracy. 156541. like alibi. 2009. G. No. 555 SCRA 255.R. This appellant failed to discharge.R.) No. February 23.A. (G. Granda. No. Choi. Article II of Republic Act ARNEL (R. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE  Section 11. it must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. 9165 BABANGGOL y MACAPIA. (Lastrilla v. A magistrate’s determination of a probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant is paid with great deference by a reviewing court. Republic Act No. June 25. Paiste. 160257. 2008. The factual milieu in Bernardino thus differs from that of the present case. G.” for there was no segregation of which sachets of shabu submitted were for the charge of illegal sale or for the charge of illegal possession.R. 347) It is presumed that a judicial function has been regularly performed. September 26. All told.R. 186526 y identified the shabu she examined and testified on the results thereof. much less that he adopted the same. No. It presented no proof that Naranjo knew of the criminal intentions of the other accused. G. 171088. The prosecution did not bother to contradict this. absent a showing to the contrary.Naranjo There is no general formula or fixed rule for the determination of probable cause since the same must be decided in light of the conditions obtaining in given situations and its existence depends to a large degree upon the findings or opinion of the judge conducting the examination. (People v. 481 SCRA 324. No. No. 272. they all agreed that Naranjo was a mere hired driver. Agulay. People of the Philippines. Article II of PHILIPPINES vs. hence. October 2. 580 SCRA 54. there being no question that there was only one plastic sachet of shabu confiscated from appellant to give rise to confusion during its laboratory examination and presentation in evidence. as long as there was substantial basis for that determination. No. it can easily be concocted.R. 147782. 2009. nothing in the circumstances of this case can be used to infer that Naranjo was in conspiracy with the other accused. No. No.

when a party desires the court to reject the evidence offered.R. 2010) CONVICTED Even though non-compliance with Sec. he must so state in the form of objection.R. At the trial.) No. No.A. 184546. G. Article II of Republic Act (R. 191064  Violation of Sections 5 and 11. PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Section 5.) No. The failure of the prosecution to establish the e vidence’s chain of custody is fatal to its case. Sitti Domado. yet at no instance did the appellant manifest or even hint that there were lapses in the safekeeping of seized items that affected their admissibility. G. 2010 October 20.152950. Hernandez. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 November 15. No. 538 SCRA 611. having failed to present substantial rebuttal evidence to defeat the presumption of regularity of duty of the issuing judge. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Section 5. The Court. Suan.R. 569 SCRA 194) October 20. In People v.R. PHILIPPINES vs. without any other evidence to show that there was indeed lack of personal knowledge. Sanchez. G. There can be no crime of illegal sale of a prohibited drug when nagging doubts persist on whether the item confiscated was the same specimen examined and established to be the prohibited drugs.R. citing People v. 189844 . integrity and evidentiary value.” (G.R. such cannot be relied upon when there is lack of any acceptable justification for failure to do so. 172971. 175832. No. 21 of the IRR may be excused. (People of the Philippines v. and thereafter explained the cited justifiable grounds. explained that “the saving clause applies only where the prosecution recognized the procedural lapses. 3 August 2006. 556) The defense’s reliance of the quoted testimony of the police officer alone. October 15. (People v. is insufficient to overturn the finding of the trial court. 23 November 2007. 170180. 187069 ACQUITTED Clearly. PHILIPPINES vs Article II of Republic Act MARIO No. The accused-appellant. No. No. Without such objection.A. 22 February 2010 citing Valdez v. (RA) 9165 or the VILLANUEVA Comprehensive Dangerous BAGA Drugs Act of 2002 G. No. made the subject of examination and cross-examination. Under no circumstance can we consider or even safely assume that the integrity and evidentiary value of the drug was properly preserved by the apprehending officers. June 16. 497 SCRA 547. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs.R. People. there was a break in the chain of custody of the seized substances. the seized shabu was duly marked. 2008. 9165 MAGPAYO G. Article II of Republic Act ANTONIO (R. he cannot raise the question for the first time on appeal. will not be sustained by the Supreme Court.) ACQUITTED The Supreme Court points out the defense’s failure to contest the admissibility of the seized items as evidence during trial as this was the initial point in objecting to illegally seized evidence. ROLANDO ARANETA y ABELLA @ BOTONG and MARILOU SANTOS y TANTAY @ MALOU G. No. and eventually offered as evidence. we held that objection to the admissibility of evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal.

CONVICTED Non-compliance with the prescribed procedural requirements will not necessarily render the seizure and custody of the items void and invalid. (People v. G. supra). ARNOLD MARTINEZ et al G. 637). cited in People v. 2010) The practice of law enforcers of filing charges under Sec. II of RA 9165. 191366  Violation of Section 13. (RA) 9165 or the BOY TAN y PHUA Comprehensive Dangerous G. When challenged by the evidence of a flawed chain of custody. People.” (Malillin v. No.In this case. No. in turn. No. it is without question that the warrantless search and arrest of accused-appellant are legal and valid. People. Viagra?” which. 2010 December 13. 9165 for Possession of Dangerous Drugs During Parties. and (ii) the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved. Let it be stressed that non-compliance with Section 21 of R. February 26.R. Lorenzo. No. the prosecution provided no explanation as to why there was a contradiction as to the markings on the confiscated drugs. When accused-appellant showed them the items. Peralta. No. (G. No. provided that (i) there is a justifiable ground for such non-compliance. Cialis. the arresting officers had sufficient probable cause to make the arrest in view of the fact that they themselves heard accused-appellant say. This is similar to what happened in Zarraga v. 2008. Social Gatherings or Meetings . The police officers then became obligated to arrest accused-appellant. where the Court held that the material inconsistencies with regard to when and where the markings on the shabu were made and the lack of inventory on the seized drugs created reasonable doubt as to the identity of the corpus delicti. in relation to Section 11. acquittal on reasonable doubt inevitably becomes a matter of right.R. 11. 179940. 484 SCRA 639. the presumption of regularity cannot prevail over the presumption of innocence of the accused. Article II of Republic Act No. as he was actually committing a crime in their presence––possession of a dangerous drug. “Hey Joe.A. as we ruled: “When moral certainty as to culpability hangs in the balance. It behooves this Court not to blindingly accept the testimony of a lone witness.R. April 23. Therefore. a regulated drug. 173477.R. G. 191069 Drugs Act of 2002. want to buy Valium 10. supra note 13. 552 SCRA 627. (People v. they identified 120 tablets of Valium 10. 9165 does not affect the admissibility of the evidence but only its weight. Del Monte. 162064. Art. 2006. ACQUITTED Here.R. prompted them to ask accusedappellant what he was selling. March 14. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. 647-648. 11 in cases where the presence of dangerous drugs as basis for possession is only and solely in the form November 15. a violation of Sec. at 639) PEOPLE OF THE  Violation of Section 11. PHILIPPINES vs Article II of Republic Act SULPICIO SONNY No.

14 (Possession of Equipment. apparatus or other paraphernalia is prima facie evidence that the possessor has used a dangerous drug and shall be presumed to have violated Sec. this Court thus calls on law enforcers and prosecutors in dangerous drugs cases to exercise proper discretion in filing charges when the presence of dangerous drugs is only and solely in the form of residue and the confirmatory test required under Sec. 12. The presence of dangerous drugs was only in the form of residue on the drug paraphernalia. the body of the crime. In fact. and the accused were found positive for use of dangerous drugs. Granting that the arrest was legal. 15 for first time offenders of drug use is a minimum of six months rehabilitation in a government center. instrument. the law enforcers should have filed charges under Sec. R. Although not incorrect. it would be more in keeping with the intent of the law to file charges under Sec. Social Gatherings or Meetings). the filing of charges for or involving possession of dangerous drugs should only be done when another separate quantity of dangerous drugs. 15 is positive for use of dangerous drugs. Under Sec. Apparatus and Other Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs During Parties. In order to effectively fulfill the intent of the law to rehabilitate drug users. December 15. To file charges under Sec. under the same section. provided that there is a positive confirmatory test result as required under Sec. 15. The minimum penalty under the last paragraph of Sec. other than mere residue. Instrument. 12 (Possession of Possession of Equipment. the evidence obtained admissible. 11 for the possession of residue is imprisonment of twelve years and one day. 15. Sec. 11. Apparatus and Other Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs) shall be imposed on any person who shall possess any equipment.of residue. the maximum penalty is imprisonment of four years and a fine of P50. is found in the possession of the accused as provided for in Sec.00. PEOPLE OF THE  Selling ACQUITTED The State has to prove as well the corpus delicti. they should have been charged under Sec. if there was no residue at all. 15 instead in order to rehabilitate first time offenders of drug use. No. being subsumed under the last paragraph of Sec. the possession of such equipment. 14 provides that the maximum penalty under Sec. 2010 and possessing . and the chain of custody intact. 11 on the basis of residue alone would frustrate the objective of the law to rehabilitate drug users and provide them with an opportunity to recover for a second chance at life. apparatus and other paraphernalia for dangerous drugs. 9165 or for use of dangerous drugs and. In such cases.000. while the penalty under Sec.A. (People v. Instrument. 15. 15. to afford the accused a chance to be rehabilitated.

Thus. the chain of custody rule is essential to ensure that doubts regarding the identity of the evidence are removed through the monitoring and tracking of the movements of the seized drugs from the accused. 632-633) There is no room to apply the presumption of regularity in the police officers’ performance of official duty. (People of the Philippines v. 596 SCRA 350. No. 553 SCRA 619. G.) The drug enforcement agencies of the government and the prosecution should put their acts together to ensure that the guilty are punished and the innocent absolved. 172953. No. May 14. see also People of the Philippines v.R. (People of the Philippines v. Nandi. It must be shown that the suspected substance the police officers seized from the accused is the same thing presented in court during the trial. April 30.R.R.R. 18984  Illegal possession of firearms Coreche. (Malillin v. No. No. and finally to the court. G. De Guzman. 182528. March 26. 2010) The witnesses should be able to describe these movements to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of the item and that no one who did not belong in the chain had access to the same. People. G. such presumption is effectively destroyed where the performance of their duties is tainted with failure to comply with the prescribed procedure and guidelines. Likewise prosecutors ought to have a checklist of the questions they should ask their witnesses in drugs cases that would elicit the required proof. 356). the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. 2010. No. 188905. illegal drugs EFREN DITONA et  Violation of the Omnibus al Election Code G. July 13.R. 186498. Sitco.PHILIPPINES vs. to the police.R. August 14.  ACQUITTED – Selling and possessing illegal drugs  CONVICTED – Violation of the Omnibus Election Code . G. to the forensic chemist. G. NO. 2010. 2009. 178202. While the testimonies of the police officers who apprehended the accused are generally accorded full faith and credit because of the presumption that they have performed their duties regularly. Poor handling and preservation of the integrity of evidence show lack of professionalism and waste the time that the courts could use for hearing and adjudicating other cases. 2008. Prosecutors ought not to file drugs cases in court unless the law enforcement agencies are able to show documented compliance with every requirement of Section 21 of Republic Act 9165.