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People vs Udtojan

2011

Facts
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A 17 year old was caught selling shabu through a buy bust operation
The two poseur-buyers approached him and bought shabu
They handed the money
Once they got the shabu they went back to the police to say that the transaction was completed
Police arrested the accused and found in him another sachet in his pocket
He was convicted in RTC as well as CA
Accused said that his crime was not proven beyond reasonable doubt
He also argues that chain of custody was not followed

Issue

1.

Was he correct?

Ruling
1.

No.
Because it was proven that there was a buy bust operation
The elements of sale of dangerous drugs in a buy bust operations have been satisfied
a. identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and
b. delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.[9]
First, the seller and the poseur-buyer were properly identified.
The subject dangerous drug, as well as the marked money used, were also satisfactorily
presented.
Also, the testimony was also clear as to the manner in which the buy-bust operation was
conducted.
Buybust operation as a procedure for capturing lawbreakers is valid and effective
Police is not required to always cooperate with PDEA when doing a buy bust

In other words, the participation of PDEA is not sine qua non for every buy-bust operation.
After all, a buy-bust is just a form of an in flagrante arrest sanctioned by Section 5, Rule
113[15]
A buy-bust operation is not invalidated by mere non-coordination with the PDEA.
Neither is the lack of prior surveillance fatal.
Police may decide to dispence with prior surveillance especially if it will compromise their
operations and if time is of the essence
Here, since the person is committing a crime, Sec 11 (possession of drugs), then he may be
searched
He is in possession with an item unauthorized by law, and he freely and consciously possessed
that drug
Although he denied that he was the owner, he admitted that drugs were found in his
possession and that the marked money was also taken from him
According to the court defenses of denial and frame-up are weak defenses.
Unless there is strong and convincing evidence, it cannot be given any weight
Chain of custody was not strictly followed but the identity of the integrity of the confiscated items
were preserved
Also, there was justifiable reason for not strictly complying with chain of custody

It is settled that strict compliance with chain of custody is not fatal so long as the integrity of the confiscated was shown to have been preserved .