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The Case

Three cases for violations of Article II, Section 5 of RA 9165 and violation
of RA 10591 were filed against Richard Tan y Rebujio. These cases were
consolidated and jointly tried per agreement of the parties during the pre-trial
conference.1
Antecedents
The accusatory portion of the Information charging the violation of Section
5, Article II of RA 9165 reads: (CR.T-5963)
That at about 10:45 oclock in the morning of January 19,
2015, at Brgy. Magallanes, municipality of Tayug, province of
Pangasinan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, after buy-bust operation
conducted against him, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously sell one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet
marked as GTM containing Methamphetamine Hydrochloride
or shabu weighing 0.105 gram, a dangerous drug, in exchange of
five (5) pieces of One Hundred Peso Bill with serial numbers
HH391431, KH561294, ZV180227, G161550 and EF598131
marked as DPC, DPC2, DPC3 and DPC4, respectively.
Contrary to Sec. 5, Art. 2 of Republic Act 9165, otherwise
known as Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
The accusatory portion of the Information charging the violation of Section
12, Article II of RA 9165 reads: (CR.T-5964)
That at about 10:45 oclock in the morning of January 19,
2015, at Brgy. Magallanes, municipality of Tayug, province of
Pangasinan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, after buy-bust operation
conducted against him, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously found to have in his possession, control and custody
three (3) open heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet marked as
GTM-1, GTM-2 and GTM-3 containing Methamphetamine
Hydrochloride or shabu residue, a dangerous drug, which are
equipments, apparatus or paraphernalia fit or intended for
1

CR.T-5963 Records, Page 45.

smoking, consuming, administering, injecting, ingesting or


introducing drug into the body, and said accused is not authorized
by law to possess the same.
Contrary to Sec. 12, Art. 2 of Republic Act 9165, otherwise
known as Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
The accusatory portion of the Informations charging the violation of of RA
10591 reads: (CR.T-5965)
That at about 10:45 oclock in the morning of January 19,
2015, at Brgy. Magallanes, municipality of Tayug, province of
Pangasinan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, after buy-bust operation
conducted against him, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously found to have in his possession, control and custody one
(1) caliber .22 Magnum without serial number with marking
NORTH AMERICAN ARMS 22 MAGNUM marked as DPC
loaded with five (5) live ammunition for caliber 22 magnum
marked as DPC-1, DPC-2, DPC-3, DPC-4 and DPC-5,
respectively, without first securing the necessary permit or licence to
possess the same.
Contrary to Presidential Decree No. 1866, as amended by
Republic Act 8294 and further amended by RA 10591
(Comprehensive Firearm and Ammunition Act of 2013).
After the accused pleaded not guilty to the Informations, 2 the State presented
PCI Myrna C. Malojo-Todeno,3 SPO1 Genaro T. Millo,4 PO3 Dave P. Castillo5 and
Brgy. Capt. Mary P. Cabigas6 as its witnesses, while the defense only presented the
accused as its lone witness. The parties stipulated on the gist of the testimony of
Mr. Clinton Balingcado to the effect that he was one of the witnesses in the
inventory of items subject of these cases and that he signed the Inventory and
Confiscation Receipt.
EVIDENCE OF THE PROSECUTION
2
3
4
5
6

CR.T-5963, Page 38; CR.T-5964, Page ____; CR.T-5965, Page ___.


TSN May 25, 2015.
TSN August 3, 2015; August 24, 2015; November 9, 2015.
TSN January 19, 2016; February 16, 2016.
TSN May 3, 2016.

From the evidence of the prosecution, the following version is culled.


In the morning of January 19, 2015, members of Tayug Police Station led by
PCI Joshua T. Maximo planned the entrapment operation to be conducted against
one Richard R. Tan, a resident of Brgy. Agno, Tayug, Pangasinan. Intelligence
information disclosed that Tan is involved in selling shabu to college students, bystanders and out-of-school youths of Tayug.7 They organized a buy-bust operation
where SPO1 Genaro T. Millo wacted as poseur-buyer to be accompanied by their
confidential asset while PO3 Dave P. Castillo served as back-up. They prepared the
pre-operational report and coordinated with PDEA Regional Office No. 1 and said
agency issued Control No. PDEA RO1-0115-00036 for their operation. PO3
Castillo marked five (5) P100 bills to be used as buy-bust money with his initials,
DPC (Dave Pascual Castillo) to DPC4. Said bills were given to SPO1 Millo, being
the poseur-buyer.
SPO1 Millo and their asset proceeded to the target area in the waiting shed
in Brgy. Magallanes around 10:30 in the morning abord SPO1 Millos motorcycle.
PO3 Castillo and four other PNP personnel of Tayug Police Station were on board
the Innova Patrol Car and followed SPO1 Millo to their target area. PO3 Castillo
alighted from the vehicle and positioned himself in the perimeter to serve as backup security. The Innova Patrol Car was parked in a car wash center in the said
barangay, away from the view of their meeting place.
About 10:45, the accused arrived on board his motorcycle. He and the
confidential asset talked briefly and afterwards, the asset handed the marked
money to the accused, who in turn, took out one (1) heat-sealed sachet believed to
be shabu. SPO1 Millo signaled for PO3 Castillo and the back-up team that the deal
was done. He then arrested the accused and introduced himself as a police officer
of Tayug Police Station. After frisking him, they recovered 40 pieces of P100 bills
including the five (5) P100 bills marked money. SPO1 Millo also recovered thre
(3) open transparent sachets containing shabu residue. PO3 Castillo made further
search on the body of the accused and found a cal. 22 magnum with five live
ammunitions with markings North American Arms 22 Magnum. The accused
failed to present any authority of license to possess the firearm.
Right then and there, the police officers inventoried the confiscated items in
the presence of the accused, Brgy. Capt. Mary Cabigas, Brgy. Kagawad Dominador
Cayaban, Mr. Clinton Balingcado of the Department of Justice and Mr. Romeo
7

Pre-Operational Report CR.T-5963, Page 7.

Umipig of DWRS Radyo ng Bayan Tayug. SPO1 Millo marked in the presence of
the accused and these witnesses the sold sachet containing suspected shabu with
his initials GTM and the three open sachets allegedly containing shabu residue
with GTM-1 through GTM-3.
PO3 Castillo likewise marked the cal.22 magnum firearm with his initial
DPC and the five ammunitions with DPC-1 through DPC-5. The accused was
placed under arrest and was apprised of his constitutional rights. They brought him
to the Eastern Pangasinan District Jail for medico-legal examination and
subsequently brought to Tayug Police Station together with the confiscated items.
Thereafter, SPO1 Millo, PO3 Castillo and their driver proceeded to the PNP
Crime Laboratory in Urdaneta City to submit the cal. 22 Magnum with markings
DPC and five (5) live ammunitions with markings DPC-1 through DPC-5.
Afterwards, they went to PNP Crime Laboratory in Lingayen, Pangasinan to
submit the heat-sealed sachet with markings GTM and the three (3) open sachets
with markings GTM-1 through GTM-3. Laboratory examination reveals that the
heat-sealed sachet with markings GTM and the three (3) open sachets with
marking GTM-1 through GTM-3 tested positive for the presence of
Methampethamine Hydrochloride, commonly known as shabu. Hence, the filing of
these consolidated charges.
EVIDENCE FOR THE ACCUSED
For his part, the accused testified to prove his defense, in the main, he
denied the allegations of the police officers and claimed that he was framed and
was even robbed by the police officers.
On that fated day, the accused just came from a kambingan eatery located
between the boundary of Tayug and Sta. Maria where he ate his meal. He was on
his way to his house when he was flagged in a checkpoint set-up down the bridge
in Brgy. Magallanes. He was asked to produce his drivers license, which he
readily complied and he left right after. Two kilometers away from the checkpoint,
he met PO3 Castillo and SPO1 Millo who flagged him to stop. He stopped and
parked his motorcycle in a nearby waiting shed thinking that they probably have
work for him being an electronic technician of this town. To his surprise, PO3
Castillo instructed SPO1 Millo to frisk him. SPO1 Millo only checked his pocket
and took his wallet. He had a total cash amounting to P12,000.00 pesos (40 pieces

of P100 bills and 8 pieces in P1000 bills). Moments later, two barangay officials
and other police officers arrived. These police officers laid down the items subject
of these cases on a bench. He denied that Brgy. Capt. Mary Cabigas was around
during the alleged inventory of the items and the money they took from his wallet
except the 8 pieces P1000 bills, which the accused claims was taken by the police
officers. Thereafter, he was brought to the police station where he was locked up in
jail.
COURTS RULING
The Court is not unmindful of the efforts of the law enforcement agencies to
flush out the illegal drug menace in the community. As an effective method to curb
the effects of illegal drugs, law enforcement agencies target the sellers of these
illegal drugs through buy-bust operations. A buy-bust operation is a legally
effective and proven procedure, sanctioned by law, for apprehending drug peddlers
and distributors.8
Herein accused was arrested for allegedly selling to a confidential asset and
SPO1 Millo one heat-sealed sachet containing Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or
shabu

People vs. Mantalaba, G.R. No. 186227, July 20, 2011 cited in People vs. Garyzaldy Duzon.
G.R. No. 199901, October 9, 2013.