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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila T !RD D!"!S!#$ G.R. No. 199735 October 24, 2012

PEOPLE OF THE PH L PP NES, Plaintiff%&ppellee, 's( !S ! MUS! " P N!S!LO, !R! MONONG!N " P!P!O, F! S!H !#!S " M!M!, $%& M 'E SOL!LO " M LO', &ccused% &ppellants( D)*!S!#$ (EL!SCO, )R.,J.: This is an appeal see+in, to nullify the -ebruary 2., 2011 Decision 1 of the *ourt of &ppeals /*&0 in *&%1(R( *R% (*( $o( 0372., 3hich affirmed the #ctober 7, 200. Decision2 in *riminal *ase $o( 13234%D of the Re,ional Trial *ourt /RT*0, 5ranch 143 in Ta,ui, *ity( The RT* con'icted accused%appellants of 'iolatin, Section 2, &rticle !! of Republic &ct $o( /R&0 6142 or the *omprehensi'e Dan,erous Dru,s &ct of 2002 for sellin, dan,erous dru,s( The -acts &n !nformation char,ed the accused &isa Musa y Pinasilo /Musa0, &ra Monon,an y Papao, -aisah &bas y Mama /&bas0, and Mi+e Solano y Mlo+ /Solano0 3ith the follo3in,7 That, on or about the 1st day of 8une, 2009 in the Municipality of Ta,ui,, Metro Manila, Philippines and 3ithin the :urisdiction of this onorable *ourt, the abo'e%named accused, in conspiracy 3ith one another and actin, as an or,ani;ed or syndicated crime ,roup, 3ithout bein, authori;ed by la3, did, then and there 3illfully, unla3fully and +no3in,ly sell and ,i'e a3ay to one P#1 Rey Memoracion one /10 heat sealed transparent plastic sachet containin, 9(02 ,rams of 3hite crystalline substance, 3hich 3as found positi'e for Methamphetamine hydrochloride also +no3n as <shabu<, a dan,erous dru,, in 'iolation of the abo'e%cited la3( *#$TR&R= T# >&?(3 "ersion of the Prosecution The prosecution@s 'ersion of facts 3as anchored hea'ily on the testimony of Police #fficer 1 Rey Memoracion /P#1 Memoracion0( -rom the findin,s of the trial and appellate courts, ?e synthesi;e his testimony, as follo3s7 #n 8une 1, 2009, at or about 6700 p(m(, the Station &nti%!lle,al Dru,s%Special #peratin, Tas+ -orce of the Ta,ui, *ity Police recei'ed a report from an informant about the sellin, of prohibited dru,s by Musa and her cohorts at Maharli+a "illa,e, Ta,ui, *ity( The police immediately or,ani;ed a buy%bust operation 3hich included P#1 Danilo &ra,o /P#1 &ra,o0 and P#1 Memoracion as team members( The police a,reed that P#1 Memoracion 3as the desi,nated poseur%buyerA that fi'e one%

5uildin. *ity and reCuested an eDamination of the substance( The P$P *rime >ab Report sho3ed that the indicated substance 3ei. !!.rams tested positi'e for shabu( 4 The prosecution li+e3ise presented P#1 &ra. 5a+ar Musa.ui. 'ersion of e'ents( "ersion of the Defense !n defense. herA that she 3as 17 years old at the time of the complained incidentA and that her real name 3as &ra . the buy%bust operation. dealers( The buy%bust team arri'ed at the mall at around 6792 p(m( The informant and Memoracion ali.a Musa claimed that on 8une 1. lot( The informant then introduced Memoracion. Maharli+a "illa. 3ent to their friend Sonny Sa. -ort 5onifacio. to &bas and Solano( P#1 Memoracion then told &bas and Solano that he 3anted to score shabu 3orth fi'e%thousandpesos /PhP 2.o re. 2.nal from li.ed into the house. 3ashin. on the other hand. 2009. -aisah &bas and the latter@s teDtmate.ed dru. and 3ent to the 9th floor of the buildin. 3hile their companions stood outside.ardin.ed si. arri'edA that at about 3700 or 9700 o@cloc+ in the afternoon. but found no shabu( &side from sayin.round floor 3hile 3aitin.e.an0 to count the money( &fter3ards. a 'isitor. Musa too+ from her poc+et one /10 heat sealed plastic sachet of shabu and .s.hbor but disclaimed +no3in. tra'el to Saudi &rabia and that 3hile they 3ere inside Sonny@s house.arette 3as the pre%arran. 2009. 3ith the informant. of the ci. 3hose name 3as $orma.ether 3ith t3o /20 other police officers.9 proceeded ri. Maharli+a "illa. the informant. arri'ed and that at around 1700 o@cloc+ in the afternoon. and arrested herA that she 3ent to stay in her aunt@s place only for a 'acationA and that it 3as the first time she sa3 -aisah and &n.nify the consummation of the transaction( The buy%bust team submitted a pre% operation report to the Philippine Dru.reed and pretended to .nal to si.al dru.ed the pre%arran. mall /Sunshine Mall0 3here the police had arran.round floor(2 Bpon seein.a 3as her nei.ie. 3hile the rest of the buy%bust team remained at the . 5uildin.hted from the 'ehicle 3hile the rest of the buy%bust team 3aited at the par+in.o to the comfort room in order to inform P#1 &ra.o confiscated from Monon.e of 'enue( P#1 Memoracion also chan.e( Memoracion a. alon. Ta.an 3as her nei. she and her husband. &bas and Solano boarded a tricycle to Musa@s place( They arri'ed at the condominium at around 10730 in the e'enin.thousand peso /PhP 10000 bills 3ith Memoracion@s initials 3ere to be used as mar+ed moneyA and that Memoracion@s li.hbor. *ity. Ta.a'e it to P#1 Memoracion( The latter immediately made the call to P#1 &ra.ed into the house. the buy%bust team. as follo3s7 &ccused &i. but found none. t3o police officers bar. proceeded to a nearby shoppin. Memoracion. to discuss their forthcomin. the police officers made the arrest( P#1 &ra. policemen in ci'ilian clothes bar. )nforcement &. mar+ed the sei.an a'erred that from the mornin.ed si. &n.s.htin.e. o'er her aunt@s childrenA that at about 12700 noon of the same day. her and -aisah &bas that 3ell( &ccused &ra Monon.ayno. *ity. or <missed call< and as+ed the rest of the buy%bust team to follo3 them( Thereafter. Ta. a ci.ency and entered it in the police blotter( Thereafter. for Memoracions@s call( The four met Musa at the hall3ay outside Bnit 903( &bas introduced Memoracion to Musa as the buyer( Musa then ordered &ra Monon.o.ayno@s house. searched for ille. each of accused%appellants denied the accusations a. as a potential buyer. 2. and searched for prohibited dru. located at Bnit 212.arette to a phone rin. 9(02 .an /Monon. Sonny Sa. 3hich 3as about 12 meters a3ay from the . she 3as 3ith her aunt abiba@s house at Bnit 903.ui.ed P#1 Memoracion and the informant to meet 3ith the alle.ie( She testified that &i. that &ra Monon. up to 12700 noon of 8une 1.hin. 7 to corroborate the fore. 3ho stood as P#1 Memoracion@s bac+%up durin. accused%appellants.o 3ho.0000 but the t3o replied that they do not ha'e a'ailable stoc+s on hand( &bas and Solano offered to accompany P#1 Memoracion to Musa 3ho 3as at a nearby condominium unit at 5uildin. clothes and loo+in.oin. the chan.ui.ed sachet of shabu 3ith <&PM< or the initials of accused &isa Pinasilo Musa( e then deli'ered the confiscated item to the Philippine $ational Police /P$P0 *rime >aboratory. Maharli+a "illa.ainst them and submitted their respecti'e alibis. she denied +no3in.htin.ht a3ay to P#1 Memoracion@s location. to.an the mar+ed money of fi'e PhP 1000 bills 3ith Memoracion@s initials( P#1 Memoracion.

-aisah &bas y Mama and Mi+e Solano y Mlo+.roup( o3e'er.ether 3ith t3o pre. e'idence to establish that it 3as impossible for them to be at the locus criminis at the time of the buy%bust operation(11 &s re. all of the accused assailed their con'iction and faulted the RT* in findin. introduced himself as a policeman and ordered him to come 3ith him peacefully and to :ust eDplain in his office( e claimed not +no3in. strai. 000. as minimum. 2009 at around 11700 o@cloc+ in the mornin. she sa3 &ra Monon. another female person and three childrenA that after they had eaten their lunch. and Cuestioned the rulin. 2nd para.ie arri'ed to. to siDteen /140 years of reclusion temporal. R& 6142 in relation to &rticle 42. 000(00 and to pay the costs( The period of pre'enti'e suspension is credited in her fa'or( 6 The RT* . there bein.erous dru. &rticle 42 of the Re'ised Penal *ode.ht /.uilty beyond reasonable doubt for the sale of dan. of the RT* The RT* found all the accused .nant 3omen had eaten in 8ollibee.s( !n their 5rief.ieA that she accompanied &n. of RT* for re:ectin. circumstance..ed and. ille. that the offense 3as committed by an or.ed that on 8une 1.ieA that 3hile -aisah 3aited for &n. three persons in ci'ilian clothes bar. &i.e 3here they met &n.htened and handcuffed herA that t3o of the operati'es 3ent inside the room and ransac+ed some of &ra@s belon.ed.A that &n. 000(000 and to pay the costs( &ccused &ra Monon.ainst all accused(<10 #n the other hand.ie to 5uildin.edEsyndicated crime .an because she 3as a minor at the time of the commission of the offense( Rulin. all four accused(12 *itin. Sonny Sa. Rulin.an. to 3it7 ? )R)-#R). his cousin -aisah &bas reCuested him to accompany to Sunshine Mall to meet her teDtmate. she heard a .ie.ra'atin. Mi+e 3ent to the 2nd floor of the mall for 3indo3 shoppin.ards the penalty imposed.uilty as char.13 it li+e3ise imposed the maDimum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of PhP 10 million because of its findin.in.atin. nay credible.ie@s cousin.raph of the Re'ised Penal *ode and are sentenced to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of Ten Million Pesos /PhP 10. their alibis( They also a'erred that the prosecution failed to establish the corpus delicti of the offense and that the chain of custody rule under R& 6142 3as not complied 3ith since no . 2 of Maharli+a "illa.al dru.. them .o to a condominium in Maharli+a "illa. un3a'erin. as maDimum. ei.$onon.sA that the policemen accused her of sellin.< since it 3as not sho3n that P#1 Memoracion 3as <ill%moti'ated in testifyin.nant 3omen but left at 12700 o@cloc+ noon to . introduced themsel'es as policemen.ani. finally. of the *& #n appeal.eA that after he and the t3o pre. accused%appellants raised doubts on the credibility of the testimonies of the prosecution 3itnesses.ainst Monon. is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of from fourteen /190 years. as he did in *ourt a.ed into the house.0 months and one /10 day of reclusion temporal.ayno. a bi. &n. at the 2th floor and that they all proceeded to the 9th floorA that 3hen they 3ere inside Sonny@s house. 1st para. po+ed a . and to pay a fine of PhP 200.an y Papao is li+e3ise found 1B!>T= beyond reasonable doubt of the crime char.raph &rticle !!. accused -aisah &bas claimed that on that particular day.an( &ccused Mi+e Solano alle.. no miti.an and that he sa3 them for the first time only 3hen they boarded in the same 'ehicle( &nd.a'e credence to the testimony of P#1 Memoracion( !t found his testimony as <candid.htfor3ard. accused &i.unshot and disco'ered that Sonny 3as not there anymoreA that shortly thereafter. man sat beside him. firm.an and not &ra Monon. are found 1B!>T= beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of "iolation of Section 2.a Musa and &ra Monon. the RT* declared each of the accused liable as principal because it found the presence of conspiracy amon.sA that no shabu 3as found in her possession(.un at her and fri. it reduced the penalty imposed a. the RT* re:ected accused%appellants@ defenses of alibi and denial because they failed to present clear and con'incin. she and her cousin Mi+e Solano proceeded to Sunshine Mall to meet &n.a Musa y Pinasilo. or a.

they refuted the findin.erous dru. of the RT* in re:ectin.an is life imprisonment and fine of P10.s. the appealed Decision dated #ctober 7. may be lo3ered by one or t3o de. the credibility of the testimonies of the prosecution 3itnessesG !! ?hether the *ourt of &ppeals erred in upholdin.o( !n this re.rees( 14 The !ssues ! ?hether the *ourt of &ppeals erred in affirmin. e'en 3ith finality( 1. them. that the trial court o'erloo+ed or misinterpreted some material facts or that it . ?here there is no sho3in.000. and not in special la3s. sold and its payment( There must be proof that the transaction or sale actually too+ place and that the corpus delicti be presented in court as e'idence( 17 !n findin.ani.reat 3ei. as supported by the testimony of P#1 &ra. to 3it7 ? )R)-#R). of this *ourt ?e sustain the con'iction of accused%appellants( !n determinin.ard. of the trial is affirmed. the penalty of reclusion temporal in fa'or of Monon. the eDistence of these elements.ainst &>> of the accusedG The Rulin.000.s of the RT* on the credibility of the prosecution 3itnesses pursuant to the principle that the trial court@s assessment of the credibility of a 3itness is entitled to . a representati'e from the media and the Department of 8ustice and an electi'e official( -urthermore.an( !t reasoned that the penalty of life imprisonment as pro'ided in R& 6142 cannot be lo3ered because only the penalties pro'ided in the Re'ised Penal *ode. and that they 3ere members of an or.ed to establish the follo3in.000. the rulin.ht and sometimes. but the case is hereby remanded to trial court for appropriate disposition under Section 21. the *ourt 3ill not disturb the trial .raph of the sei. R& $o( 6399 3ith respect to said accused F appellant( The Decision is affirmed in all other respects(12 The *& ruled that the RT* erred in reducin. 200.ed items 3ere ta+en in their presence or in the presence of their counsel.0000 a.edE syndicated crime .s of the RT* but modified the penalty imposed on Monon. essential elements7 /10 the identity of the buyer and the seller..ra'ely abused its discretion. the prosecution is obli.roup( 19 $ot3ithstandin. that there 3as compliance 3ith the chain of custody rule as reCuired by R& 6142G !" ?hether the *ourt of &ppeals erred in imposin. the trial and appellate courts in the present case upheld the credibility of the testimony of P#1 Memoracion. ?e find no sufficient reason to interfere 3ith the findin. the . accused%appellants denials and alibisG !!! ?hether the *ourt of &ppeals erred in rulin. 3ith modification that the penalty meted upon accused%appellant &ra Monon. the ob:ect of the sale and the considerationA and /20 the deli'ery of the thin. the maDimum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of ten million pesos /Php 10. the *& affirmed the findin.physical in'entory and photo.s of the RT* that conspiracy eDisted amon.uilt of the accused for the sale of dan.an.

s.erous dru. 29 the *ourt reiterated the :urisprudential rules and precepts in assessin. therefore.s &ct of 2002 3as not complied 3ith( The said section states7 Section 21( *ustody and Disposition of *onfiscated. 3as the locus criminis of the offense( -urthermore.e. 3e reiterate the familiar and 3ell%entrenched rule that the factual findin. 20to 3it7 !n the matter of credibility of 3itnesses. they cannot pre'ail o'er the positi'e identification of the accused as the perpetrators of the crime( Three. the truth( This assessment is bindin. the facts as established by the trial and appellate courts deser'e full 3ei. alibis and denials are . accused%appellants@ denials and plea of frame%up deser'e scant consideration in li.nificance or stren.ment on the credibility of 3itnesses.h the e'idence presented durin. and the assessment made by the trial court H unless patently and clearly inconsistent H must be accepted( 1âwphi1 !t is clear. that in order for the defense of alibi to prosper.. ill moti'es on the part of the members of the buy%bust team.( !t is doctrinally settled that the e'aluation of the testimony of the 3itnesses by the trial court is recei'ed on appeal 3ith the hi. Sei. upon the appellate court in the absence of a clear sho3in.o( Similarly.ati'e in nature and self%ser'in. the factual findin. by clear and con'incin.erous Dru.round that the chain of custody rule under Section 21 of R& 6142 or the *omprehensi'e Dan.hest respect.lasan. for alibi to prosper.ards accused%appellants@ denial and claim of frame%up.s are tainted 3ith arbitrariness.erous Dru. the accused should demonstrate. *ity. e'idence. 2. of the *&( Settled is the rule that the factual findin. that he or she 3as some3here else 3hen the buy%bust operation 3as conducted.ht affect the result of the case( /)mphasis supplied(0 Moreo'er. they failed to demonstrate compliance 3ith the reCuisites of the defense of alibi( !n People '( &pattad. Plant Sources of Dan. capriciousness or palpable error( 21&bsent any indication that the courts a Cuo committed misinterpretation of antecedents or .enerally disfa'ored by the courts for bein. because it had the direct opportunity to obser'e the 3itnesses on the stand and detect if they 3ere tellin.ra'e abuse of discretion. ha'in. e'idence that the members of the buy%bust team 3ere inspired 3ith ill moti'es or that they 3ere not properly performin. that it 3as reached arbitrarily or that the trial court had plainly o'erloo+ed certain facts of substance or 'alue that if considered mi. andEor Surrendered Dan. 3hile they insist on their o3n 'ersion of e'ents.s of the trial court should be respected( The :ud.e a Cuo 3as in a better position to pass :ud. accused%appellants@ alibis failed to fortify their claim of innocence because. the accused must pro'e not only that they 3ere some3here else 3hen the crime 3as committed. personally heard them 3hen they testified and obser'ed their deportment and manner of testifyin. considerin. but also that it 3as physically impossible for them to be at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission( -ourth.ht and credit.ht of the positi'e identification made by P#1 Memoracion and P#1 &ra.s of the RT* are stren.thened by an affirmatory rulin.al sale and possession of dan. durin.s(23 ere. it cannot attain more credibility than the testimonies of prosecution 3itnesses 3ho testify on clear and positi'e e'idence( 24 &nent the third issue. that alibi as e'idence is ne.ui. or after the offense 3as committed( 22 !t is on this thrust that the alibis made by accused%appellants failed to con'ince since all of them admitted that they 3ere 3ithin the 'icinity of 5uildin. on this *ourt. 3hich.th only 3hen it is amply corroborated by credible and disinterested 3itnesses( -ifth. trial(16 The rationale behind this principle 3as eDplained by the *ourt in People '( Din. those of the trial court are bindin. Ta. accused%appellants demand their acCuittal on the . and that it 3as physically impossible for him or her to be present at the scene of the crime either before. in the absence of e'idence sho3in.ed. and are deemed conclusi'e( 22 &s re. unless there is a clear sho3in. the trial and appellate courts correctly ruled that these defenses cannot stand unless the defense could sho3 3ith clear and con'incin. alibi is an issue of fact that hin. that such findin. the defense of alibi7 #ne.es on the credibility of 3itnesses. their duties( The defenses of denial and frame%up are in'ariably 'ie3ed 3ith disfa'or because such defenses can easily be fabricated and are common ploy in prosecutions for the ille..erous . Maharli+a "illa. alibi assumes si. apparently.court@s assessment of the facts and the credibility of the 3itnesses since the RT* 3as in a better position to assess and 3ei. 3ea+( T3o.s of the appellate court sustainin.

the la3@s !mplementin. in case of 3arrantless sei. from the moment of sei. !nstrumentsEParaphernalia andEor >aboratory )Cuipment( H The PD)& shall ta+e char.erous dru.ed andEor Surrendered Dan.ed items 3ere ta+en in their presence or in the presence of their counsel.raph of the sei. for proper disposition in the follo3in. 'oid. physically in'entory and photo. *ontrolled Precursors and )ssential *hemicals. manner7 /a0 The apprehendin. further. shall not render 'oid and in'alid such sei.erous dru.ures of and custody o'er said items( /)mphasis supplied(0 &t this :uncture..ed andEor surrendered.n the copies of the in'entory and be . controlled precursors and essential chemicals. sei.erous Dru.rity and e'identiary 'alue of the sei.ulations. for proper disposition in the follo3in.uresA Pro'ided. of the mo'ements and custody of the sei. as lon.s.s.ed. or hisEher representati'e or counsel. immediately after sei.h the monitorin. a representati'e from the media and the Department of 8ustice /D#80. and any elected public official 3ho shall be reCuired to si.erous dru.ulations pro'ides7 S)*T!#$ 21( *ustody and Disposition of *onfiscated. automatically render the sei. initial custody and control of the dru.ure until it is finally adduced in e'idence( !t cannot be o'eremphasi. officerEteam. from the accused. 3hiche'er is practicable.e and ha'e custody of all dan. as the inte.ed items are properly preser'ed by the apprehendin.ure and confiscation.erous dru.erous dru.ed prohibited item. ho3e'er. that a testimony about a perfect chain is almost al3ays impossible to obtain( /)mphasis supplied(0 Since the <perfect chain< is almost al3ays impossible to obtain.rity and e'identiary 'alue of the sei.ed items are properly preser'ed by the apprehendin. the identity of the e'idence are remo'ed throu.raph the same in the presence of the accused or the personEs from 3hom such items 3ere confiscated andEor sei. as stated in the !mplementin. as 3ell as instrumentsEparaphernalia andEor laboratory eCuipment so confiscated. manner7 /10 The apprehendin. the custodial chain 3ould include testimony about e'ery lin+ in the chain or mo'ements of the ille.s shall. as 3ell as instrumentsEparaphernalia andEor laboratory eCuipment so confiscated.s. ?e reiterate that the essence of the chain of custody rule is to ensure that the dan. e'idence. immediately after sei.ed.Dru. and to its presentation in e'idence in court( !deally.ed prohibited dru. officerEteam. the chain of custody rule reCuires that the presentation and admission of the sei. as an eDhibit be preceded by e'idence to support a findin.erous dru.ainst the accused is the same dan.s.erous Dru.ure of the dan. &s a mode of authenticatin. officerEteam(26 !n the present case.n the copies of the in'entory and be .ure and confiscation. physically in'entory and photo.ed. initial custody and control of the dru. and e'idence is admissible as lon. 3ithout more.i'en a copy thereof( *orollarily. does not.s. plant sources of dan. Plant Sources of Dan. a representati'e from the media and the Department of 8ustice /D#80.raph shall be conducted at the place 3here the search 3arrant is ser'edA or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehendin.s. as the inte. reco'ered from his or her possession( 27 &s eDplained in *astro '( People72.erous dru. controlled precursors and essential chemicals. accused%appellants insist on the police officer@s non%compliance 3ith the chain of custody rule since there 3as <no physical in'entory and photo. Rules and Re. to the police.e and ha'e custody of all dan.s shall. that the physical in'entory and photo.s.i'en a copy thereofA Pro'ided.ed andEor surrendered. plant sources of dan.ardin.al dru. and trac+in. *ontrolled Precursors and )ssential *hemicals. and any elected public official 3ho shall be reCuired to si. that the matter in Cuestion is 3hat the proponent clams it to be( This reCuirement is essential to ob'iate the possibility of substitution as 3ell as to ensure that doubts re. that non%compliance 3ith these reCuirements under :ustifiable . presented in court as e'idence a.rounds.raph the same in the presence of the accused or the personEs from 3hom such items 3ere confiscated andEor sei. non%compliance 3ith Sec( 21 of R& 6142. Rules and Re. to the forensic laboratory for eDamination. !nstrumentsEParaphernalia andEor >aboratory )Cuipment( H The PD)& shall ta+e char. or hisEher representati'e or counsel. sei. Sei. officerEteam ha'in. a . team ha'in.

ed dru.representati'e from the media and the Department of 8ustice and an electi'e official(< ?e.o.s on the plastic sachet of shabu bou.rity and e'identiary 'alue of the said ille.ed sachet of shabu 3ith his initials <&PM< at the mas+in.ely on the credibility of the police officers 3ho conducted the buy%bust operation( .nificant since a re'ie3 of the e'idence on record sho3s that the chain of custody rule has been sufficiently obser'ed by the apprehendin. find these obser'ations insi.ed items 3ere then brou.rams of crystalline substance yielded positi'e for shabu( &lso it bears stressin.raphs and ma+e an in'entory of the dru.anib. -ort &( 5onifacio.ed from the time of its sei. officers( Thru the testimonies of the P#1 Memoracion and P#1 &ra.s( The concurrence of all elements of the ille. ille. <R)*)!")D 5=7 $up 5acayan< and <D)>!")R)D 5=7 P#1 Memoracion(< Thus7 e0 )'idence Submitted #ne /10 transparent plastic sachet /heat sealed0 containin. P#1 Memoracion mar+ed the sei.raphs of them is not fatal considerin. Ta. the failure on the part of the M&D&* operati'es to ta+e photo. inte. SPD -ort 5onifacio. a ReCuest for >aboratory )Damination dated 8une 2.ed form accused% appellant &i.ht from appellant immediately after the consummation of the dru. ho3e'er.7 ere.ether 3ith the sachet of shabu sei.ed from the appellant 3as not fatal because the prosecution 3as able to preser'e the inte. that durin. sale( This 3as done in the presence of appellant and the other operati'es. accused%appellants. that the prosecution in this case 3as able to establish. Metro Manila issued Physical Science Report $o( D%936%09S statin. 9(02 .htenment in People '( "icente.al sale of shabu 3as pro'en by the prosecution( The chain of custody did not appear to be bro+en( The reco'ery and handlin. to.ed from Musa 3as the 'ery same shabu presented in e'idence as part of the corpus delicti( The factual findin. and the accused%appellants 3ere turned o'er to the police station for in'esti.al dru. stipulated on the testimony of the forensic chemist.s <&PM< containin.s of the *&.s 3ere satisfactorily established( -ariIas 3as able to put the necessary mar+in.ht portion of the ReCuest for )Damination sho3s the time and date of deli'ery at <01722 02 8une 09<.. 2009( !mmediately thereafter. 3ith moral certainty.o did not ma+e an in'entory of the sei.ure until the time it 3as presented in court( -urthermore.ui. tape. 2009. the P$P *rime >aboratory Southern Police District *rime >aboratory. are elucidatin. P#1 Memoracion deli'ered to the P$P *rime >aboratory Ser'ice.s sei.rity and e'identiary 'alue of the <shabu< 3as preser'ed( *ontrary to the accused%appellants alle.a Musa0 &t 0300 02 8une 2009.a Musa( Stamped on the ri.a Musa by P#1 Memoracion( The buy%bust operation 3as conducted about 10730 in the e'enin. the fact that the P#1 Memoracion and P#1 &ra. Police !nspector Richard &llan Man. those of the RT*. the testimonial and documentary e'idence presented by the prosecution sho3ed that the inte.ed items or that they did not ta+e photo. of 8une 1. as follo3s7 !n this case.ui.nificant to note that a similar conclusion 3as reached in People '( Presas 31 3here the *ourt disposed. 3ith respect to his forensic eDamination of the sub:ect sachet of shabu( *learly. affirmin.al dru. 2007. that the identity. the hearin. that the heat salad plastic sachet 3ith mar+in. 3hite crystalline substance suspected to be Methylamphetamine ydrochloride or shabu mar+ed <&PM<( /item purchased from &i.ations.rity of the sachet of <shabu< 3as duly preser'ed as it 3as duly mar+ed by P#1 Rey Memoracion and it 3as the 'ery same item transmitted to and eDamined by the P$P *rime >aboratory( 30 /)mphasis supplied(0 !t is li+e3ise si. 8r(732 Prosecutions in'ol'in. of the sei. and e'identiary 'alue of the shabu 3as not :eopardi..ht to the P$P *rime >aboratory for eDamination on the same day( 5oth prosecution 3itnesses 3ere able to identify and eDplain said mar+in. thru their counsel. the inte.s depend lar. 2009. and 3hile in the crime scene( The sei. the shabu specimen presented in court by the prosecution 3as the same item recei'ed from accused%appellant &i. the prosecution 3as able to pro'e that the shabu sei.rity. on May 2. ?e find enli.ation( &t 1722 of 8une 2. Ta.s in court( /)mphasis supplied(0 ence.

as maDimum( &s re. as amended by Sec( 23 of R& 7426.atin. ?e rule that the penalty imposed a. circumstance( The !S>&? is applicable in the present case because the penalty 3hich has been ori. ei. dan.0 months and one /10 day of reclusion temporal. the penalty of imprisonment imposed a. as minimum. 3ould be the proper imposable penalty( /)mphasis supplied(0 Therefore. the proper penalty should be one de.roup 36 or a dru.o 3ere ill moti'ated in testifyin. the penalty of imprisonment imposed on Monon. 3hich is reclusion temporal. and that they acted 3ithin the sphere of their authority( #mnia praesumumtur rite esse acta /&ll thin.i'en to prosecution 3itnesses 3ho are police officers for they are presumed to ha'e performed their duties in a re.an. the records are bereft of any sho3in. R& 6142 for sellin.ed crime . full credence should be . considerations. the penalty that should be imposed( The RT*.#ft%repeated is the rule that in cases in'ol'in.atin.ra'atin. of the *ourt in Mantalaba in the absence of any miti. mandates that the maDimum penalty shall be imposed if the offense 3as committed by any person 3ho belon. to siDteen /140 years of reclusion temporal.ree 3hich is prision mayor and the maDimum penalty shall be ta+en from the medium period of reclusion temporal.erous dru. the rules stated abo'e.ainst the accused%appellants must be modified( ?ith reference to accused%appellant Monon. as minimum.s( $ot3ithstandin. ei.ed miti. as maDimum.inally an indi'isible penalty /reclusion perpetua to death0. syndicate( !t ruled that &rticle 42 of the Re'ised Penal *ode.. The *ourt in the said case established the rules as follo3s7 *onseCuently. that P#1 Memoracion and P#1 &ra.raduated since the said pro'ision adopted the technical nomenclature of penalties pro'ided for in the Re'ised Penal *ode( 3. the minority of the appellant( Thus. the RT* sentenced accused%appellants the maDimum fine of PhP 10 million on the . there bein. the pri'ile. therefore. as minimum.ly. and fourteen /190 years.ani.round that accused%appellants sold shabu as members of an or.an to life imprisonment( 34 o3e'er.ht /. it imposed the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of fourteen /190 years. inter alia.ainst Monon.ht /.. of R& 6142.0 months and one /10 day of reclusion temporal. applyin. circumstance of minority( Therefore.ed. the *ourt held.erous Dru.s &ct.s are presumed to ha'e been done re. ei. imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua 3ithout considerin.atin.ards the fine imposed.s to an or. as maDimum( 32 #n appeal.ani. circumstance other than the minority of Monon.ed miti.i'en to their testimonies(33/)mphasis supplied(0 &s stated..ree lo3er than reclusion perpetua. of Sec( 2.0 months and one /10 day of reclusion temporal. a penalty of siD /40 years and one /10 day of prision mayor. ?e submit to the presumption that both of them and the other police officers in'ol'ed in the buy%bust operation had performed faithfully the matters 3ith 3hich they are char.an should be siD /40 years and one /10 day of prision mayor.oin.ra'atin. 3here !S>&? is inapplicable.an( *onseCuently. circumstance of minority ha'in. no other miti. the pri'ile. accused% appellants .ainst the accused. the RT* found her to be a minor or 17 years old at the time of the commission of the offense(39 &ccordin.ht /. as affirmed by the *&. the minimum penalty should be ta+en from the penalty neDt lo3er in de. circumstance nor a.s 3ere e'entually affirmed by .ularly0( !n 'ie3 of the fore. the !ndeterminate Sentence >a3 /!S>&?0.ular manner. 'iolations of the *omprehensi'e Dan.ressed from their ordinary tour of duty( There is. became a di'isible penalty /reclusion temporal0 by 'irtue of the presence of the pri'ile.uilty beyond reasonable doubt of 'iolatin. circumstance of minority can no3 be appreciated in fiDin.an should mirror the rulin. no co.ent basis to taint their testimonies 3ith disbelief( ence. been appreciated( $ecessarily. ?e find these impositions contrary to pre'ailin. the *ourt finds no re'ersible error on the part of the RT* and *& in findin. a. credence is . circumstance or a. a. :urisprudence( !n the recent People '( Mantalaba. 373here the accused 3as li+e3ise 17 years old at the time of the commission of the offense.ed miti. the *& increased the penalty of Monon.atin.roup( 90 These findin.edEsyndicated crime . unless there is e'idence to the contrary( &bsent any indication that the police officers 3ere ill%moti'ated in testifyin. also applyin.ainst accused%appellants( $either 3as there any indication that they 3ere in bad faith nor had di. and fourteen /190 years.atin. that7 /a0 pursuant to Sec( 6. the penalty for acts punishable by life imprisonment to death pro'ided in the same la3 shall be reclusion perpetua to death 3hen the offender is a minorA and /b0 that the penalty should be .

ed for the . ho3e'er. confederatin.roup 3ithin the meanin.. there is no proof that they 3ere a . ei. the a. a dru. or mutually helpin.ress on 3hat is no3 &rt( 42. that accused%appellant and his companions constituted a syndicated or an or.ht /.. after scrutini. of &rticle 42. any offense prescribed under R& 6142(92 !n determinin. 3hether or not the offense 3as committed by any person belon.roup of t3o or more persons collaboratin. &rt( !! of R& 6142 is hereby &--!RM)D 3ith M#D!-!*&T!#$S that7 /a0 accused%appellant &ra Monon. syndicate is any or. this principle in &lberca. syndicate( *onseCuently.ain in the commission of any crime( DDDD ?hile the eDistence of conspiracy amon.ani..ani.roup.ani.s to an or.es from this discussion is the idea of a . crimes for . a sur'ey of recent :urisprudence 97 sho3s that the *ourt has consistently imposed a fine of fi'e hundred thousand pesos /PhP 200..ether 3ith the intention of committin.roup or.in. crimes for . Sec( 2.edEsyndicated crime . as maDimumA and /b0 each of the accused% . to. circumstance that <the offense 3as committed by an or.ani.ree of the penalty imposed must be pro'ed 3ith eCual certainty as the commission of the act char.ani. as amended by Section 23 of Republic &ct $o( 7426.o7 99 &rticle 42 of the Re'ised Penal *ode. and fourteen /190 years. para..eneral purpose of committin. the maDimum PhP 10 million imposed by the trial and appellate courts upon each of accused%appellants should be modified accordin.roup or.ani. circumstance of or.uided by the rulin.ain(< /)mphasis supplied(0 &pplyin.o( The eDistence of conspiracy amon.*&(91 The records.eneral purpose of committin.roup( DDDD ?hat emer. there 3as no proof that appellants 3ere a .ed . to an or.ain. circumstances 3hich are ta+en into consideration for the purpose of increasin. in People '( &lberca 93 3here the *ourt.ed for the purpose of committin. as amended( ?hile it is true they confederated and mutually helped one another for the purpose of .ly( This is in consonance 3ith the dictum in *riminal >a3 that the eDistence of a.ed as criminal offense( 94 !ncidentally.ra'atin. 3hich is the essence of a syndicated or or. 2011 *& Decision *&%1(R( *R% (*( $o( 0372. and not merely on hypothetical facts no matter ho3 truthful the suppositions and presumptions may seem92 &.roup under &rticle 42 of the Re'ised Penal *ode( /)mphasis supplied(0 ?e find the present case similar to Santia.an y Papao is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of siD /40 years and one /10 day of prision mayor.ra'atin.ani.ed crime ..ani. &rt( !! R& 6142 in the absence of any a.ed crime .roup of personsA at least t3o in number. syndicate( 5y definition. accused%appellants .edEsyndicated . appellants in sellin. findin. as minimum. or :oinin.roup of t3o /20 or more persons formin.edEsyndicated crime . the deliberations held by *on.ani.roup< cannot be appreciated( Thus.ra'atin.raph 1/a0 of the Re'ised Penal *ode.ani.edEsyndicated crime .ed .edEsyndicated . the *ourt held in People '( Santia.ain. circumstances must be based on positi'e and conclusi'e proof.0 months and one /10 day of reclusion temporal. mandates that the maDimum penalty shall be imposed if the offense 3as committed by any person 3ho belon.ain.ra'atin. The -ebruary 2. shabu 3as duly established. but the prosecution failed to pro'ide proof that they operated as an or. circumstance( ? )R)-#R). 3hich is the essence of the a.ani. accused%appellants in sellin.0000 for 'iolation of Sec( 2. ?e are .. shabu 3as duly established.ra'atin..roup as a .roup( The same article defines an or. crimes for .roup or as a dru. 3hich is or.ed for the . the de. are bereft of any proof that accused%appellants operated as members of a dru. held7 ?e hold that the trial court erred in findin.uilty of 'iolatin.in. one another for the purposes of .ani.

SERENO *hief 8ustice Foot%ote.nated additional member per Special #rder $o( 132.ar%Padilla and Manuel M( 5arrios( 1 . )R. )R.ned to the 3riter of the opinion of the *ourtKs Di'ision( M!R ! LOUR*ES P. ( LL!R!M!. )R. !#!* &ssociate 8ustice M!RT N S.ust 2. #ERS!M NJ &ssociate 8ustice RO#ERTO !. dated #ctober 6.nated actin.appellants shall pay a fine in the amount of fi'e hundred thousand pesos /PhP 200. !. J Desi. &ssociate 8ustice *hairperson *)RT!-!*&T!#$ Pursuant to Section 13. (EL!SCO. member per Special #rder $o( 1266% dated &u. &rticle "!!! of the *onstitution and the Di'ision *hairpersonKs &ttestation. 2012 ( Desi.0000( S# #RD)R)D( PRES# TERO ). ! certify that the conclusions in the abo'e Decision had been reached in consultation before the case 3as assi. 2012( JJ Penned by &ssociate 8ustice -ernanda >ampas%Peralta and concurred in by &ssociate 8usticesPriscilla 8( 5alta.ned to the 3riter of the opinion *ourtKs Di'ision( PRES# TERO )..JJ &ssociate 8ustice )OSE C!TR!L MEN*O+! &ssociate 8ustice &TT)ST&T!#$ ! attest that the conclusions in the abo'e Decision had been reached in consultation before the case 3as assi. &ssociate 8ustice ?) *#$*BR7 LUC!S P. (EL!SCO.

2011A citin. May 20. p( 7( !d( at 39( !d( at 33( People '( Pascua. People '( *ombate.ani. records.6301. 8anuary 2. 2011( People '( 5autista. -ebruary 24. 43. one another for purposes of . 1667.ust 31. 1(R( $o( 161244. 1(R( $o( 162002. 6 10 11 12 R)"!S)D P)$&> *#D). 16 20 &siatico '( People.. p( 120A TS$.. 8une 4. May 2.. pp( 31%32.e >eili *ru. 247 S*R& 24. 1667.% 706( 21 .roup means a . confederatin. 2011( !d(A citin.. 1(R( $o( 16116. 2010. S*R& 703. pp( 3%2A *& rollo.( Rollo.ani. May 2. 2002( *& rollo. 1(R( $o( 106.( !d( at 16.roup( 13 &n or. 36( 12 14 17 1. 1(R( $o( 1. 27( !d( !d( 3 9 2 4 7 . p( 6( Rollo. 2011 and -uentes '( *ourt of &ppeals. May 20. pp( 16%20A 27%2. and P#3 )d. December 12. Suare. 70. 1(R( 1692. pp( 60%190A TS$. 2007. People '( Luiamanlon.. p( 17A TS$.roup of t3o or more persons collaboratin. 2007( Records. or mutually helpin. p( 2A records. 8anuary 24.ain in the commission of any crime( /)mphasis supplied(0 19 Rollo.( *& rollo.s to an or.0.ar #rias. &rt( 42( D D D The maDimum penalty shall be imposed if the offense 3as committed by any person 3ho belon. p( 1( P#1 &leDander Sae. p( 1. September 12. 24.96. S*R& 767( 1(R( $o( 101312.edEsyndicated crime .2 Penned by 8ud. 37( TS$.edEsyndicated crime . &u. 2002.

Re'ised Rules on )'idence.7 and People '( *ombate. 413 S*R& 224. 2010. 2011. 264 S*R& 227. 2010. 2010. 2006. 1(R( $o( 1. 27( !d( Rollo. 8une 21. pp( 16. 47. p( 39( 1(R( $o( 1.411.97. 247( 1(R( $o( 163376. 2011( 1(R( $o( 1631.2231... pp( 16%20A 27%2. -ebruary 6.2222. &u. 2011A People '( De Mesa. 421 S*R& 327( 26 30 Rollo. 1(R( $o( 1. 1669.. -ebruary 29. 2010.. 2011( 27 2. 1(R( $o( 1.. 8anuary 31.9. -ebruary 7. 1(R( $o( 171732. 104A and People '( 1um%#yen.( &doptin. 8uly 4.. S*R& 299( 23 29 People '( Sancholes. 2011.( 33 39 *& rollo. 1(R( $o( 1. supra note 16( People '( &ndres. 1641. 1664A 22 24 People 's( &pattad. pp( 23%29( 1(R( $o( 1. 492 S*R& 1. 429 S*R& 29.4227. &pril 1. 1(R( $os( 110666 M 111000. 1(R( $o( 162237.1.270. 2011( 31 32 *itin. &u. People '( Pambid. People '( )stoya..ust 10. 1667 citin. p( 39( R& 6142. supra note 29( People '( Denoman. 1(R( $o( 1631. 92. 1(R( $o( 12323. 1(R( $o( 172260. 1(R( $o( 11406.. 36 90 91 92 .7070.( Rollo.2 S*R& 44. et al(. 8anuary 2. 8uly 26. 8uly 20. 2006.ust 19. 5oo+ "!.. 1666 ed( p( 37.ust 12. May 16. 412 S*R& 61. &pril 24. 1(R( $o( 1.66.22 People '( 1abrino. #scar M(. People '( Tamayo. &pril 14. 249A People '( "illamin. &rceno '( People. 1(R( $o( 6302..A and People '( Mariacos. Remedial >a3. the principle in People '( Simon.. 2009. citin.. 8anuary 24.( !d( at 20. People 's( 5ania. 2011( 1(R( $o( 1. 239 S*R& 222( *& rollo. 429 S*R& 1. 1(R( $o( >% 19602. March 2. 1 S*R& 2. &u. March 6. 2011A citin. 2.a. Sec( 3/o0( 32 34 37 3.3A See also errera. 2..

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