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G.R. No.

172116 October 30, 2006 xxxx
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, FINDINGS:
vs. Qualitative examination conducted on the above-stated specimen gave
ROGER VILLANUEVA, appellant. POSITIVE result to the tests for Methylamphetamine hydrochloride, a
regulated drug. x x x8
Denying the accusations against him, appellant testified that on the night of the
DECISION alleged commission of the crime, he was at home watching television. Thereafter,
two policemen knocked at the door looking for a certain person named Roger. When
he identified himself as Roger, he was immediately handcuffed and brought to the
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: headquarters without explanation. It was only later that he found out that he was
For review is the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 00975, being charged for selling shabu.9
dated December 20, 2005, affirming in toto the Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court After hearing, the trial court rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which
of Malabon City, Branch 72, in Crim. Case No. 27159-MN finding appellant Roger reads:
Villanueva y Huelva guilty of violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered finding
(R.A.) No. 9165 (2002), otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs accused Roger Villanueva y Huelva guilty beyond reasonable doubt for
Act of 2002, and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay drug pushing, penalized under Section 5, Art. II, RA 9165 and he is hereby
a fine of P500,000.00 and costs. sentenced, in view of the small quantity of shabu involved, to Life
The Information dated July 11, 2002 against the appellant alleges: Imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500,000.00, and to pay the costs.
That on or about the 9th day of July, 2002 in the Municipality of Navotas, The decks of shabu subjects of this case are forfeited in favor of the
Metro Manila Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable government to be disposed of under the rules governing the same. OIC-
Court, the above-named accused, being a private person and without Branch Clerk of Court Enriqueta A. Marquez is hereby enjoined to
authority of law, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously immediately turn over the deck of shabu to the proper authority for final
sell and deliver in consideration of the amount of P100.00 to poseur buyer disposition.
One (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline Costs de oficio.
substance with net weight 0.21 gram, which substance when subjected to SO ORDERED.10
chemistry examination gave positive result for Methylamphetamine Considering the penalty imposed, the case was directly appealed to this Court for
Hydrochloride otherwise known "shabu", a regulated drug. automatic review. However, pursuant to our decision in People v. Mateo11 modifying
CONTRARY TO LAW. 3 the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court insofar as direct appeals from the
Appellant pleaded not guilty upon arraignment.4 Regional Trial Court to the Supreme Court in cases where the penalty imposed is
PO1 Ariosto Rana of the Dangerous Drugs Enforcement Group (DDEG), Northern death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, this case was referred to the Court of
Police District, testified that at 8:00 p.m. of July 9, 2002, a confidential informant Appeals, which affirmed in toto the decision of the trial court, thus:
informed them that appellant was selling shabu at Block 8, lot 2, Phase 2, Area 1, IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the instant appeal is hereby
Dagat-dagatan, Navotas.5 He immediately composed a team of police operatives to DISMISSED and the challenged decision AFFIRMED in toto. Costs de
entrap the appellant,6 with him posing as the poseur-buyer. After marking the oficio.
P100.00 bill and recording in the blotter its serial number, the team proceeded to the SO ORDERED.12
place and arrived thereat around 9:30 p.m. He and the informant approached the Hence, this petition.
appellant while the rest strategically positioned themselves. The informant The core issue for resolution is whether error attended the trial court’s findings, as
introduced him to the appellant, who asked them if they wanted to affirmed by the Court of Appeals, that appellant was guilty beyond reasonable doubt
buy shabu. Appellant got one plastic sachet from his pocket containing a white of violation of Section 5, Article II, of R.A. No. 9165.
crystalline substance. After appellant received the marked money, Rana executed the Appellant maintains that there was no entrapment and that he was arrested in his
prearranged signal and the team arrested the appellant. The confiscated substance house on the night of the alleged commission of the crime. While he admits that the
was submitted to the Northern Police District-Crime Laboratory for resolution of the case would boil down to the determination of who between the
examination,7 which yielded the following results: parties is more credible, he insists that the presumption of regularity in the
SPECIMEN SUBMITTED: performance of official duty alone could not sustain a conviction; and that the self-
A – one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet with markings "RVH BB" serving and uncorroborated testimony of PO1 Rana could not prevail over his
containing 0.21 gram of white crystalline substance. xxx. constitutionally guaranteed presumption of innocence.13

In essence, what appellant puts at issue is the trial court’s appreciation of factual search on the premises of his house, planted evidence, and then charged him
details of the buy-bust operation or the entrapment. Suffice it to say that settled is the as a supplier of drugs.
policy of this Court, founded on reason and experience, to sustain the factual The contentions are without merit.
findings of the trial court in criminal cases, on the rational assumption that it is in a A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment that is resorted to for trapping
better position to assess the evidence before it, having had the opportunity to make and capturing felons in the execution of their criminal plan. The operation is
an honest determination of the witnesses’ deportment during the trial. 14 In the instant sanctioned by law and has consistently proved to be an effective method of
case, we find no basis to disregard the trial court’s factual findings. apprehending drug peddlers. Unless there is clear and convincing evidence
Indeed, in criminal cases, the prosecution bears the onus to prove beyond reasonable that the members of the buy-bust team were inspired by any improper
doubt not only the commission of the crime but likewise to establish, with the same motive or were not properly performing their duty, their testimonies with
quantum of proof, the identity of the person or persons responsible therefor. This respect to the operation deserve full faith and credit. Verily, here, from the
burden of proof does not shift to the defense but remains in the prosecution evidence adduced, We find no reason to depart from the general rule. We
throughout the trial. However, when the prosecution has succeeded in discharging are one with the court a quo’s conclusion that the prosecution was able to
the burden of proof by presenting evidence sufficient to convince the court of the establish that a buy-bust operation actually took place starting from the time
truth of the allegations in the information or has established a prima facie case the team composed of nine (9) members proceeded to the target area at 9:00
against the accused, the burden of evidence shifts to the accused making it p.m. for the initial negotiation until the perfection of the sale at 9:30 p.m.
incumbent upon him to adduce evidence in order to meet and nullify, if not to the same night.17
overthrow, that prima facie case.15 Moreover, when the police officers involved in the buy-bust operation have no
To sustain a conviction under a single prosecution witness, such testimony needs motive to falsely testify against the accused, the courts shall uphold the presumption
only to establish sufficiently: 1) the identity of the buyer, seller, object and that they have performed their duties regularly; 18 and as held in People v.
consideration; and 2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment thereof. Indeed, Pacis,19 bare denials by the accused cannot overcome this presumption.
what is material is proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with All told, the trial court and the Court of Appeals correctly held that the appellant
the presentation in court of the substance seized as evidence. 16 In this case, PO1 committed the crime charged. What remains to be determined is the correctness of
Rana, being the poseur-buyer, was the most competent person to testify on the fact of the penalty imposed on the felony committed.
sale and he did so to the satisfaction of both the trial court and the appellate court. Section 5, Article II of RA 9165 reads:
Thus, we agree with the Court of Appeals that: Sec. 5. Sale, Trading, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Distribution
Contrary to appellant’s assertions, the prosecution has established with and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and
moral certainty the presence of all the elements necessary for the Essential Chemicals. - The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine
prosecution for the illegal sale of shabu. In the case at bar, there is no doubt ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten million
that appellant was caught in the very act of selling "shabu", a prohibited pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless
drug. PO1 Ariosto Rana, the prosecution witness who acted as poseur- authorized by law, shall sell, trade, administer, dispense, deliver, give away
buyer, narrated in a clear and straightforward manner the facts of sale. x x x to another, distribute, dispatch in transit or transport any dangerous drug,
xxxx including any and all species of opium poppy regardless of the quantity
What is more, the identities of the seller and the buyer together with and purity involved, or shall act as a broker in any of such transactions.
the corpus delict[i] of selling shabuhave also been duly established. Poseur- In finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged, the trial
buyer PO1 Ariosto Rana positively identified accused-appellant Roger court sentenced him to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of
Villanueva as the person who sold to him one plastic sachet containing the Five Hundred Thousand pesos (P500,000.00). While it correctly imposed the said
white crystalline substance. x x x penalties, we find the reason given therefor, that is, in view of the small quantity of
xxxx shabu involved, inaccurate.
Then too, the regulated drug of shabu contained in a plastic sachet which Unlike under the repealed R.A. No. 6425 (1972) or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972
the appellant handed over to the buyer, was also duly proven before the trial where the imposable penalty depends on the quantity of the regulated drug involved,
court. x x x the foregoing provision now imposes the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a
xxxx fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten million pesos
Against these strong positive and substantial evidence, appellant could only (P10,000,000.00) for the sale, trade, administration, dispensation, delivery,
say that no buy-bust operation was conducted and, instead, insists that he distribution and transportation of shabu, a dangerous drug, regardless of the
was just a victim of frame-up; that the policemen carried out an illegal quantity involved.20

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in JUNIE MALILLIN y LOPEZ, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 00975, dated December 20, 2005, affirming in toto the
Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Malabon City, Branch 72, in Crim. Case No. PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision and resolution of the Court of
27159-MN finding appellant Roger Villanueva y Huelva guilty of violation of Appeals.
Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and sentencing him to suffer the Lynette J. Tan for petitioner.
penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500,000.00 and costs, is The Solicitor General for respondent.
hereby AFFIRMED. TINGA, J.:
SO ORDERED.
The presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions cannot by its
lonesome overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence. Evidence of guilt
beyond reasonable doubt and nothing else can eclipse the hypothesis of guiltlessness.
And this burden is met not by bestowing distrust on the innocence of the accused but
by obliterating all doubts as to his culpability.
In this Petition for Review1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, Junie Malillin y
Lopez (petitioner) assails the Decision2 of the Court of Appeals dated 27 January
2006 as well as its Resolution3 dated 30 May 2006 denying his motion for
reconsideration. The challenged decision has affirmed the Decision4 of the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Sorsogon City, Branch 525 which found petitioner guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of illegal possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride,
locally known as shabu, a prohibited drug.
The antecedent facts follow.
On the strength of a warrant6 of search and seizure issued by the RTC of Sorsogon
City, Branch 52, a team of five police officers raided the residence of petitioner in
Barangay Tugos, Sorsogon City on 4 February 2003. The team was headed by
P/Insp. Catalino Bolanos (Bolanos), with PO3 Roberto Esternon (Esternon), SPO1
Pedro Docot, SPO1 Danilo Lasala and SPO2 Romeo Gallinera (Gallinera) as
members. The search—conducted in the presence of barangay kagawad Delfin Licup
as well as petitioner himself, his wife Sheila and his mother, Norma—allegedly
yielded two (2) plastic sachets of shabu and five (5) empty plastic sachets containing
residual morsels of the said substance.
Accordingly, petitioner was charged with violation of Section 11,7 Article II of
Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs
Act of 2002, in a criminal information whose inculpatory portion reads: “That on or
about the 4th day of February 2003, at about 8:45 in the morning in Barangay Tugos,
Sorsogon City, Philippines, the said accused did then and there willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously have in his possession, custody and control two (2) plastic sachets of
methamphetamine hydrochloride [or] “shabu” with an aggregate weight of 0.0743
gram, and four empty sachets containing “shabu” residue, without having been
previously authorized by law to possess the same.
CONTRARY TO LAW.”8
Petitioner entered a negative plea.9 At the ensuing trial, the prosecution presented
Bolanos, Arroyo and Esternon as witnesses.
Taking the witness stand, Bolanos, the leader of the raiding team, testified on the
circumstances surrounding the search as follows: that he and his men were allowed
entry into the house by petitioner after the latter was shown the search warrant; that

the officer closed the door and asked him to lift the appeal. Petitioner testified that Esternon began the In its Comment.10 On cross examination.18 Sheila was Prefatorily. And as he was doing as told. Lorlie Arroyo (Arroyo). charges against him.22 the presence of petitioner.13 that he Aggrieved. For its part. a discovery of the two filled sachets was made in his and Licup’s presence. misapprehended or misapplied in a case under to the bedroom and once inside.24 which included the pillow in which the two sachets of shabu were kept. In that instant. kagawad Licup and Sheila in their testimonies. was tucking something inside her underwear. Norma. Ofelia term of twelve (12) years as minimum to seventeen (17) years as maximum. if properly mattress on the bed.12 On cross.00. it was prosecution and that the same does not suffice to overcome the prima facie existence in his presence that Sheila was searched by the lady officer. although the trial court’s findings of fact are entitled to great weight and ordered to transfer to the other bedroom together with her children. everyone except Esternon was asked to step out of the room.28 Garcia who received the items from Esternon at the laboratory. he ordered Esternon and barangay kagawad Licup.30 the OSG bids to establish that the raiding team had regularly search of the bedroom with Licup and petitioner himself inside. however. the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed decision affirming delivered to the laboratory by Esternon in the afternoon of the same day that the the judgment of the trial court but modifying the prison sentence to an indeterminate warrant was executed except that it was not she but rather a certain Mrs.11 for twelve years (12) and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and to pay a fine of Esternon testified that the denim bag containing the empty plastic sachets was found P300.31 It points to petitioner’s momentarily interrupted when one of the police officers declared to Bolanos that incredulous claim that he was framed up by Esternon on the ground that the petitioner’s wife. of shabu” which according to him came from a pillow on the bed. that the search conducted inside the bedroom of petitioner surrounding the discovery of the plastic sachets. exclaimed that fell off from one of the pillows searched by Esternon—a discovery that was made in he had just found two filled sachets. Esternon showed him “sachet court and the Court of Appeals.21 Licup for his part testified on the circumstances about a meter away. . in the manner by which the search of his house was conducted. that he was observing the conduct of the search from being searched by the lady officer.upon entering the premises.25 In his Appeal Brief26 filed with the brought the seized items to the Balogo Police Station for a “true inventory. Esternon stopped him and ordered appreciated. petitioner called the attention of the court to certain irregularities the trial court14 and thereafter to the laboratory. it was performed its duties in the conduct of the search. but that at the beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged. Petitioner was condemned to prison same time his eyes were fixed on the search being conducted by Esternon. this rule does not apply where facts of weight and Petitioner asserted that on his return from the errand.16 She further admitted that all seven sachets were On 27 January 2006. he was explaining its progress to petitioner’s mother. to conduct that petitioner was not in the house for the entire duration of the search because at the search.20 Petitioner’s Prosecutions for illegal possession of prohibited drugs necessitates that the elemental account in its entirety was corroborated in its material respects by Norma. that the rest of the police team positioned themselves outside the house to one point he was sent by Esternon to the store to buy cigarettes while Sheila was make sure that nobody flees. he admitted that it was he alone who or over which he exercises acts of ownership are presumptively owned by him. Bolanos admitted that during the On 20 June 2004 the trial court rendered its Decision declaring petitioner guilty search. conducted by the police operatives. However. Norma and Sheila positively declared whose assistance had previously been requested in executing the warrant. several circumstances obtain which. the forensic chemist who administered the evidence sufficed for petitioner’s conviction and that the defense never advanced any examination on the seized items. would warrant a conclusion different from that arrived at by the trial him to lift the portion of the headboard. from the errand. notes that petitioner’s bare denial cannot defeat the positive assertions of the At that point. hardly holds up to what is revealed by the records. Sheila. who was left inside the bedroom.17 Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was denied by the appellate The evidence for the defense focused on the irregularity of the search and seizure court. It conducted the search because Bolanos was standing behind him in the living room also noted petitioner’s failure to ascribe ill motives to the police officers to fabricate portion of the house and that petitioner handed to him the things to be searched.27 residue of the same substance. the prosecution Supt. Forthwith. the instant petition which raises substantially the same issues. So. He recounted that after the five yielded five empty plastic sachets with suspected shabu residue contained in a denim empty sachets were found. he was summoned by Esternon substance have been overlooked. that he then found the house of petitioner was prima facie evidence of petitioner’s animus possidendi two filled sachets under a pillow on the bed and forthwith called on Gallinera to have sufficient to convict him of the charge inasmuch as things which a person possesses the items recorded and marked. She revealed that the two filled sachets were false charges against him and hence the presumption that they had regularly positive of shabu and that of the five empty sachets. It likewise lady officer arrived to conduct the search of Sheila’s body inside the same bedroom. asked by a police officer to buy cigarettes at a nearby store and when he returned This argument. he was told that nothing was found on Sheila’s body. four were positive of containing performed their duties should prevail.19 will not be disturbed on appeal.” then to Court of Appeals. barangay act of possession of a prohibited substance be established with moral certainty.32 In the case at bar. and two plastic sachets containing shabu which after about three minutes. Petitioner was then of animus possidendi. he went out of the bedroom and into the living room and bag and kept in one of the cabinets. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) advanced that on the contrary.000. Esternon.29 Hence. was presented as an expert witness to identify the proof to show that the members of the raiding team was improperly motivated to hurl items submitted to the laboratory. petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal.23 The trial court reasoned that the fact that shabu was found in the “behind” the door of the bedroom and not inside the cabinet.

Equally telling is the testimony of Bolanos that he posted some of the . in such a way that every person who touched the for the specific purpose of establishing the identity of the evidence. the court pointing out that the white powder seized could have search and seizure was conducted in a regular manner and must be presumed to be been indeed heroin or it could have been sugar or baking powder. custody rule. The Court takes note of the unrebutted was tested in the laboratory to determine its composition. the likelihood of tampering.35 original item has either been exchanged with another or been contaminated or As a method of authenticating evidence. alteration or tampering—without regard to whether the same is advertent items from Esternon. Hence. tampering. of the exhibit at the time it was in their possession—was excluded from the Also. or at least the identity of the prohibited drug be established beyond doubt.36 It would include identity of the sachets of shabu allegedly seized from petitioner.33 Essential therefore in these cases is that the nature. contamination39 and even marked thereon as his own.40 In other words. Any been no change in condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the reasonable mind might then ask the question: Are the sachets of shabu allegedly chain to have possession of the same. loss or mistake with respect to an exhibit is identity of the seized items because it failed to offer not only the testimony of greatest when the exhibit is small and is one that has physical characteristics fungible Gallinera and Garcia but also any sufficient explanation for such failure. were not presented in These witnesses would then describe the precautions taken to ensure that there had court to establish the circumstances under which they handled the subject items. from the moment the item was picked up to came into direct contact with the seized objects.together with the fact that the same is not authorized by law. corroborated by that of his wife.38 The same standard likewise obtains in handed over to him by Esternon at the place of seizure and acknowledge the initials case the evidence is susceptible to alteration. seized items for chemical analysis at the crime laboratory. More than just the fact of accident or otherwise—in which similar evidence was seized or in which similar possession.43 the two filled sachets petitioner was sent out of his house to buy cigarettes at a nearby store. or when a testimony in court is crucial to affirm whether the exhibits were the same items witness has failed to observe its uniqueness. and essential when the item of real evidence is not distinctive and is not readily Considering that it was Gallinera who recorded and marked the seized items. The prosecution was thus unsuccessful in discharging its burden of establishing the Indeed. the possibility. only Esternon and Arroyo testified the time it is offered into evidence.37 seized from petitioner the very same objects laboratory tested and offered in court as While testimony about a perfect chain is not always the standard because it is almost evidence? always impossible to obtain. State42 positively acknowledged this danger. what she did with them during the time they were in her or otherwise not—dictates the level of strictness in the application of the chain of possession until before she delivered the same to Arroyo for analysis. an unbroken chain of custody becomes indispensable The prosecution’s evidence is incomplete to provide an affirmative answer.34 Be that as it may. The same is true of Garcia who could have. which cannot but inure to its substance later analyzed as heroin—was handled by two police officers prior to own detriment. where it was and what whom Esternon supposedly handed over the confiscated sachets for recording and happened to it while in the witness’ possession. In that case where a to rule out the possibility of substitution of the exhibits. The dangerous drug A unique characteristic of narcotic substances is that they are not readily identifiable itself constitutes the very corpus delicti of the offense and the fact of its existence is as in fact they are subject to scientific analysis to determine their composition and vital to a judgment of conviction. the continuous whereabouts of the from the commencement of the search of petitioner’s house until the submission of exhibit at least between the time it came into the possession of police officers until it the seized items to the laboratory for analysis. the condition in which it was marking.41 there is no reasonable guaranty as to the integrity of the exhibits inasmuch as it failed Graham vs. that prior to the discovery of the laboratory’s findings is inadmissible. the exhibit’s level of susceptibility to nevertheless failed. Of the people who testimony about every link in the chain. the person to whom Esternon directly handed over the received and the condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the chain. that at any of the links in the chain of custody over the same there could mere fact of unauthorized possession will not suffice to create in a reasonable mind have been tampering. the fact that the substance illegally possessed in the first place is the evidence was submitted for laboratory testing. alteration or substitution of substances from other cases—by the moral certainty required to sustain a finding of guilt. The Court cannot reluctantly close its eyes to the likelihood. a more exacting standard that entails a chain of custody custody requirement performs this function in that it ensures that unnecessary doubts of the item with sufficient completeness if only to render it improbable that the concerning the identity of the evidence are removed. admission of an exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding that A mere fleeting glance at the records readily raises significant doubts as to the the matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be. but substitution and exchange. This holds true not only with respect to the two filled sachets but also examination who however did not testify in court on the condition and whereabouts to the five sachets allegedly containing morsels of shabu. in authenticating the same. the chain of custody rule requires that the tampered with. It ruled that unless so. in nature and similar in form to substances familiar to people in their daily lives. or when its condition at the time of testing or trial is critical. contrary to what has been consistently claimed by the prosecution that the prosecution evidence. his identifiable. testimony of the state as to testimony of petitioner. In effect. as well as Garcia. Gallinera. the records disclose a series of irregularities committed by the police officers the state can show by records or testimony. to testify on the circumstances under which she received the fungibility. a same substance offered in court as exhibit must also be established with the same standard more stringent than that applied to cases involving objects which are readily unwavering exactitude as that requisite to make a finding of guilt. to exhibit would describe how and from whom it was received. The chain of identifiable must be applied.

the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 27 January 2006 a language too plain to require a different construction. Section 1246 of the Rules of Court. Go47 characterized this requirement as mandatory in order to preclude the substitution of or tampering with said items by interested parties. coupled with the doubts as to the necessity thereof. When moral exercise of duty. basic and elementary is the presupposition that the Esternon prior to the discovery of the two filled sachets. as claimed by Esternon. it was petitioner himself who handed misplaced. the manner by which the search of proof beyond reasonable doubt. Petitioner Junie Malillin y has been served. In WHEREFORE. it is contrary to ordinary human behavior that regarded as binding truth. but there appears to be no reason why a true inventory could not be made in petitioner’s house when in fact the apprehending team was able to record and mark the seized items and there and then prepare a seizure receipt therefor. the blind reliance by the trial court and the Court of Appeals the brief but crucial interlude that he was away. acquittal on reasonable doubt Moreover. the Court burden of proving the guilt of an accused lies on the prosecution which must rely on likewise takes note of Esternon’s suspicious presence in the bedroom while Sheila the strength of its own evidence and not on the weakness of the defense. Section 2144 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R. they would have no authority to retain possession thereof and more so to likelihood of petitioner fleeing the scene.A. as a reasonable safeguard. Lest it be omitted.45 as required by Rule 126. Indeed.53 In the present case the lack of conclusive Sheila’s body was brought up by a member of the raiding team also raises serious identification of the illegal drugs allegedly seized from petitioner. The confluence of these circumstances by any invariable whatever may be the reputation of the accused. for the law presumes his objective standard of behavior contradicts the prosecution’s claim of regularity in the innocence unless and until the contrary is shown. Likewise. strongly militates a finding of guilt. People vs. and its Resolution dated 30 May 2006 denying photographing and the physical inventory of the item at the place where the warrant reconsideration thereof. such that he was not able to witness the conduct of the search during custody of the evidence. the raiding team has had enough opportunity to cause the issuance of the warrant which means that it has had as much time to prepare for its implementation.52 Suffice it to say that this presumption cannot petitioner would hand over the said pillow to Esternon knowing fully well that illegal preponderate over the presumption of innocence that prevails if not overthrown by drugs are concealed therein. Del Castillo49 declared that the approval by the court which issued the search warrant is necessary before police officers can retain the property seized and G.50 Mere tolerance by the trial court of a contrary conclusively explained why petitioner was sent out of his house on an errand when practice does not make the practice right because it is violative of the mandatory in the first place the police officers were in fact apprehensive that he would flee to requirements of the law and it thereby defeats the very purpose for the enactment. Esternon’s failure to deliver the seized items to the court demonstrates a departure from the directive in the search warrant that the items seized be immediately delivered to the trial court with a true and verified inventory of the same. It was elicited from him that Lopez is ACQUITTED on reasonable doubt and is accordingly ordered immediately at the close of the search of petitioner’s house.48 Thus. the same cannot benefit the prosecution as it failed to offer any acceptable justification for Esternon’s course of action. on the presumption of regularity in the conduct of police duty is manifestly It is also strange that. The presumption of regularity is merely just that—a mere presumption to him the items to be searched including the pillow from which the two filled disputable by contrary proof and which when challenged by the evidence cannot be sachets allegedly fell. he brought the seized items released from custody unless he is being lawfully held for another offense. While the final proviso in Section 21 of the rules would appear to excuse non-compliance therewith.51 evade arrest. No. This fact assumes prime importance because the two filled sachets were Given the foregoing deviations of police officer Esternon from the standard and allegedly discovered by Esternon immediately after petitioner returned to his house normal procedure in the implementation of the warrant and in taking post-seizure from the errand.members of the raiding team at the door of petitioner’s house in order to forestall the without it.R. inevitably becomes a matter of right. are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. 2014 . 205227 April 7. In the same breath. People v. The declaration of one of the police officers that irregularity in the manner by which the same were placed under police custody he saw Sheila tuck something in her underwear certainly diverted the attention of the before offered in court. Lest it be forgotten. The rule is was being searched by a lady officer. Branch 52. Esternon deviated from this procedure. certainty as to culpability hangs in the balance. members of petitioner’s household away from the search being conducted by In our constitutional system. 9165 clearly outlines the post-seizure procedure in taking custody of seized drugs. immediately to the police station for the alleged purpose of making a “true inventory” thereof.54 In dubio pro reo. No. it mandates that the officer affirming with modification the judgment of conviction of the Regional Trial Court acquiring initial custody of drugs under a search warrant must conduct the of Sorsogon City. By no stretch of logic can it be deliver the same to another agency.

In its 6. Metro Manila. Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. the trial court rendered judgment acquitting her of the crime charged considering that her mere presence in the car used by appellant Immediately. Philippines Version of the Prosecution and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Since the target area is situated in Barangay Bayanan.4 Vicente Lim in Calamba City. Plaintiff-Appellee. the CA denied the motion for reconsideration specimens. is not indicative of conspiracy in the sale of illegal drugs. 3. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. were charged with violation of Section 5. Alejandro (appellant). unlawfully and feloniously SPO1 Jaime A. 9165 (The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002). the above-named accused. Muntinlupa City. The existence and authenticity of the request for examination of the Court (RTC) of Muntinlupa City. Jr. 2006. No. That a request for laboratory examination was made for the specimens allegedly confiscated from the accused. The jurisdiction of this Court over the persons of the accused. Calabarzon issued two (2) chemistry reports. Platon and Police sell. the corresponding Regional Crime Laboratory Office.) No. 03483 which affirmed the judgment2 of the Regional Trial 5. 2006. Laguna. That only a representative sample of the specimens submitted were Rosario. trade deliver and give away to another. a Confidential Informant (CI) went to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Regional Office 4-A (CALABARZON) at Camp Contrary to law.R. 2012. vs. Raul L. J. a Inspector Ruben M. in the City of Muntinlupa.51 grams contained in one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet. PCI Ablang organized the team composed of eleven police officers and made the proper coordination with At the pre-trial. Bargamento instructed Police Chief Inspector Julius Ceasar V. Article II of Republic Act (R. 9 l 65 under examined by the Forensic Chemist which consist of one (1) transparent the following Information: sachet containing white crystalline substance in black and red markings. along with Imelda G. the team likewise obtained the requisite "Authority to Operate 1. The prosecution presented the following factual milieu based on the testimonies of not being authorized by law did then and there willfully. Article II of R. VILLARAMA. No. conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping and aiding one another. The identity of the accused as the persons charged. Upon demurrer to evidence directed him to look for a buyer of 100 grams of shabu for the price of P360. That pursuant to the requests for the drug test and examination of the Resolution3 dated March 14.8 During the briefing.. On appeal is the Decision1 dated November 11.7 filed by accused Jenny del Rosario. The CI informed Regional Director P/Supt. JR. 6 That on or about the 12th day of July. filed by appellant. Accused-Appellant. CR-H.00.A.: 4. all three accused pleaded not guilty. the parties stipulated on the following: PDEA. Solema and Jenny V. 5 Ablang to form a team who will conduct a buy-bust operation. Apostol.000. Police Inspector Ruben Mamaril Apostol Jr. ALEJANDRO. is a member of a PNP Crime Laboratory Office as of July 12. MARCO P. and Marco P. Bargamento that he was able to set up a deal with a certain "Aida" who When arraigned. (Forensic Chemical Officer): dangerous drug weighing 98. Outside AOR". methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) under Section 5. SPO1 Norman Jesus P. P/Supt. 2. Cariaso (poseur-buyer). in violation of the above-cited law. In the morning of July 11. del 7. 2006 and he is an expert in Forensic DECISION Chemistry. 2011 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. SPO1 Cariaso was designated as poseur-buyer . D-267-06 and CRIM[D]T- 286-06 that subject specimens submitted are positive for methamphetamine The Facts hydrochloride.A. Branch 204 convicting appellant of illegal sale of seized items and Request for a drug test on the persons of the accused.C.

On the same day.51 grams. sachet containing white crystalline substance which appellant handed to him.while SPO1 Platon will be his back-up arresting officer. CRIMDT-268-06 to 270-06 submitted by Pol. SPO1 Cariaso and the CI parked the Toyota Revo confiscated items were inventoried by the investigator in the presence of SPO1 infront of the house of "Aida" while SPO1 Platon and the rest of the team. Bargamento. Appellant then demanded for the money. showing positive findings on specimen marked "EXH A J. Roy A.A.C. 10 arrested persons. Camarillo of the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory 4A stating that "there team followed. They called the attention of a woman whom the CI identified as "Aida". The other police officers posted themselves where they could see SPO1 Platon as the There were also requests made for the physical examination and drug test of the latter will wait for a "missed call" from SPO1 Cariaso. he was carrying an item wrapped in newspaper.C. A J. 2006. Jr. They arrived at At the PDEA regional office. SPO1 Platon arrested the woman passenger in the Vios who peso (P500) bills were then prepared and marked by SPO1 Cariaso. (3) Appellant alighted from the Vios and went inside the Revo.A. SPO1 Cariaso gave appellant the belt bag Apostol. Cariaso had the money with him. Bargamento. (6) Request for Revo.m. As agreed during the examination of the seized transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline briefing. cellphone. SPO1 Platon positioned himself in a spot where he could see SPO1 Cariaso. Apostol. July 12. 2006" and signed it at the had contacted "Aida" through her cellphone and arranged the 2:00 p. (7) Chemistry Report No.C. SPO1 Cariaso and SPO1 Platon. Bargamento. Four pieces of five hundred Solema. Jr. (9) Certification dated July 12. the pre-arranged signal for the team that the sale had been consummated. 2006 submitted by Pol. SPO1 Cariaso are no external signs of recent application of any form of trauma noted during the arrested appellant and the woman ("Aida") who was later identified as Imelda G. July 12.11 P/Supt. time of examination" on the persons of appellant and his co-accused. The woman told SPO1 Cariaso that the driver of the Vios was appellant. Prior to these preparations. waited at a distance. stacked on the boodle money were placed inside SPO1 Cariaso’s belt bag. weighing 98. Bargamento. Inside the persons dated July 12. showing positive findings on the urine samples taken from appellant and his co-accused. SPO1 Cariaso and the woman then went inside the Revo and waited for The prosecution presented and offered the following evidence: (1) Pre-Operation appellant. Insp. (2) Authority to Operate Outside AOR dated July 12. The team introduced themselves as PDEA agents. substance.12 Apostol. After about five minutes. appellant and his co-accused were booked and the Barangay Bayanan at 1:45 p. conducted a The seized plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance was marked by surveillance of the house of "Aida" and vicinity. the CI SPO1 Cariaso with his initials "EXH. A J. 2006 issued by Medico-Legal Officer Within fifteen seconds. The analysis performed by Pol. The three accused and the confiscated items were brought to the PDEA Regional Office in Camp Vicente Lim. Meanwhile. Result of the chemical "Aida". The said bills was later identified as Jenny del Rosario. who rode Cariaso.9 appellant. SPO1 Cariaso also recovered the marked P500 bills and boodle money from transaction the following day. July 12. 2006 submitted by PCI Ablang (Team Leader) and noted by Revo. meeting/sale bottom. along with the CI. Jr.A. 2006 signed by P/Supt. (4) Request for appellant to SPO1 Cariaso as the buyer. 2006 granted by PDEA Police Chief Inspector Emmanuel Salvador L. 2006" were brought by SPO1 Cariaso to the Philippine SPO1 Cariaso and the CI alighted from the Revo and went to the gate of the house of National Police (PNP) Regional Crime Laboratory Office 4A. Insp. was prepared and signed by P/Supt. The request for laboratory examination and the specimen marked "EXH.13 The next day. the CI left. D-267-06 dated July 13. at around 12:00 noon. (5) Request for Drug Test of arrested When appellant returned. SPO1 Platon rushed towards the Revo and the rest of the Dr. The woman introduced Certificate of Coordination dated July 12. a Toyota Vios arrived and parked infront of the Report dated July 12. (8) Chemistry Report No. he went down and got something from the Vios. (10) Certificate . SPO1 Cariaso confirmatory test done on their urine samples.14 in turn asked her where the shabu is and she replied that he should wait for Marco (appellant). July 12. The woman asked SPO1 Cariaso likewise were found positive for methamphetamine based on screening and where the money is and he opened his belt bag to show her the money. appellant uncovered the item and SPO1 Cariaso saw a transparent plastic Physical/Medical Examination of arrested persons signed by P/Supt. 2006 of specimen marked "EXH A J. A request for laboratory on another vehicle (Isuzu Crosswind).A. Appellant and his co-accused buyer of shabu. a media representative and a barangay councilor. 2006" with signature of poseur-buyer.C. 2006 from PDEA. After the introduction. July 12. showed that the said specimen is woman came out of the house and the CI introduced SPO1 Cariaso to her as the positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.m. Enriquez. Insp. After appellant ascertained that SPO1 Laboratory Examination dated July 12. containing the marked bills and boodle money and quickly pressed the call key of his 2006". the team accompanied by the CI boarded two service vehicles and proceeded to the target area.

of searching. Thereafter. He saw SPO1 Cariaso 6-8 meters. (11) One transparent officials from Canlubang and the media. Upon reaching Im’s house at 1:45 p. Along the poked a gun at him.20 a towing area. 2006 between 1:00 to 2:00 in the afternoon. When he was unable to give such was supposed to park in the area but there were barangay tanods and so it parked amount. Im was to rent her apartment because his girlfriend is arriving from Japan." These armed persons searched her Appellant’s defense is anchored on the claim that no buy-bust took place. appellant suddenly arrived and there were armed men who alighted from said vehicles and vehemently denied having such drug in his possession at the time. Appellant went out of his car and proceeded to Im’s house. 2006" and signed by poseur-buyer SPO1 Cariaso. And so he parked his Vios inside the garage of Im’s house which has a steel gate and knocked at its door. whom they call "Im. They have already entered Im’s house. a silver car also arrived which million) from him in exchange for his release. When appellant was already inside Im’s house.. He house for shabu and when she shouted she was pushed into a chair. but which only Imelda Solema signed while appellant and Jenny del drug. he parked his for the armed men to board appellant there. Ablang and a driver also boarded. (12) Affidavit of Poseur. These PDEA agents took his belt The defense presented another witness.15 Imelda G. Gutierrez.C. She later learned that the driver of the and submitted for drug testing. The woman and a man. Appellant further claimed that PCI Ablang demanded money (P1 car and entered the house of Im. 2006 at past 2:00 p. she was inside her house watching TV together with her seven-year-old Version of the Defense son when some persons carrying long firearms arrived asking if she is "Aida". Meanwhile. July 12. Their urine samples were taken instead in the garage of the mother of Im. barangay (Lyka Manalo) and Barangay Councilor (Jerusalem Jordan). the filing of a case against the PDEA officers who tried to extort money from him but Up/Arresting Officer dated July 13. The persons left were a female and a child who eventually drove the silver car. She shouted to them that she is not "Aida" but "Im.17 silver car was appellant. When somebody knocked on the door. a siomai/sago vendor bag containing cash (P48. They pulled appellant inside. Jenny del Rosario was left inside the On cross-examination.000) and his jewelry. and (15) four pieces P500 bills marked money with serial numbers CM180235. Thereafter. a red car for the first time at the PDEA office.m. The armed men forced Im and appellant into the Revo. They waited for the other car they were going the same way. On cross-examination. at around 1:30 p.16 prior to their arrest because he was the "kumpare" of her sister. appellant claimed he was immediately grabbed by a apartment.19 Rosario refused to sign. he saw Jenny del Rosario with her baby and let them rode on his car (Vios) as brought outside the house and boarded into the Revo.m. made him lie down and handcuffed him. appellant and his co-accused were photographed after they were made man and a woman (whom she later learned were police officers) alighted from said to change clothes. Imelda Solema admitted that appellant was her friend even Vios. they were brought to the vehicle infront of said house but a barangay tanod told him not to park there as it was PDEA office in Canlubang where they were detained. The purpose of his visit to one of the armed men opened it and they saw appellant.21 man who made him lie down. they just detained him and his co-accused. Not too long after. Rowena S.. He likewise does not know SPO1 Platon. 2006 executed by SPO1 Cariaso. (13) Affidavit of Back. Appellant went to her house at the time as they had an agreement that he will rent one of the units of her Upon entering the house of Im. nothing was found in her house. She testified that on July 12.A. After ten minutes testified that on July 12.22 ." A PDEA office. two vehicles (Revo and Crosswind) As to the shabu allegedly seized from him in a buy-bust operation.m. At the immediately parked infront of the house of Imelda Solema. ZS853938 and ZW337843. She and appellant were way. 2006 executed by SPO1 Platon. Solema testified that on July 12. accused Imelda Solema whom he knows is called "Im".of Inventory prepared by PCI Ablang and signed/witnessed by a media representative taking of photographs was done in the presence of PDEA personnel. she heard Im crying as she was being held by a been detained for two days when they were photographed with the said item.. he went to the house of his co.18 plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance with markings "EXH A J. He would later learn at PDEA that the man’s name is "Toto" and his female companion is Ma’am Carla. YA867249. He was also handcuffed and brought who allegedly saw what transpired at the house of Imelda Solema from a distance of inside his car where Toto. (14) Booking his lawyer suggested they should first do something about this case. 2006. appellant explained that he had talked to his lawyer regarding Buyer dated July 13. He added that he Sheet and Arrest Reports of appellant and his co-accused containing their does not know of any reason why SPO1 Cariaso is accusing him of selling an illegal fingerprints.

26 Accused MARCO ALEJANDRO y PINEDA is ordered committed to the National Bilibid Prisons and accused IMELDA SOLEMA y GUTIERREZ is ordered The above elements were satisfactorily established by the prosecution. 9165 does not necessarily render an accused’s the accused were caught in flagrante delicto selling shabu. unaware of the entrapment plan of the police established.000. Poseur-buyer committed to the Philippine Correctional for Women until further orders. No. Our Ruling Accordingly. hence there was already an agreement for the sale of 100 grams of shabu for the amount Convinced that appellant and his co-accused Imelda Solema had conspired in selling of P360. premises considered and finding the accused MARCO Firmly established in our jurisprudence is the rule that in the prosecution for illegal ALEJANDRO y PINEDA and IMELDA SOLEMA y GUTIERREZ GUILTY of sale of dangerous drugs. they are sentenced to LIFE IMPRISONMENT and to suffer all the as evidence. On the other hand. poseur-buyer who turned out to be a police officer. a dangerous drug. to a arrest illegal or the items seized from him inadmissible. While the police officers . are a price certain for a specified weight of drugs to be sold. It held that the failure to strictly comply with the requirements of officers. the object. straightforward and consistent on all material points. coupled with the (Php 1. the RTC rendered judgment as follows: The appeal lacks merit. The observed that the testimonies of defense witnesses do not jibe or are inconsistent CA rejected appellant’s argument that there is no proof beyond reasonable doubt that with each other. 25 The Acting Branch Clerk of Court is directed to transmit the subject "shabu" What determines if there was. the following essential elements must be proven: (1) that the violating Sec. the witness admitted that the relatives of her friend Im asked The preventive imprisonment undergone by the accused shall be credited in their her to testify because the others who also saw the incident were afraid to do so. and hence they could not have agreed on testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution who. 5 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 beyond transaction or sale took place.On cross-examination. shabu.00.000. the CA affirmed appellant’s conviction. indeed. It held that appellant’s denial of the crime charged is a negative self. in a legitimate buy-bust operation. Appellant thus brought the pack of The CA was likewise convinced that the corpus delicti of the crime has been shabu to be sold to SPO1 Cariaso. the RTC noted that it was the latter who called up the former about the offer of the poseur-buyer SPO1 Cariaso to buy shabu. SPO1 Cariaso identified appellant as the seller of shabu. identity of the buyer and the seller. and the consideration. WHEREFORE. the basis of the meeting between the poseur-buyer reason to fabricate the charges against the accused. being police officers. a sale of dangerous drugs in a buy-bust contained in a transparent plastic sachet which was marked as Exhibit "J" to the operation is proof of the concurrence of all the elements of the offense. Article II of R. the RTC By Decision dated November 11. presentation in court of the confiscated prohibited or regulated drug as evidence.23 favor. Implicit in all these is accessory penalties provided by law and to pay a fine of ONE MILLION PESOS the need for proof that the transaction or sale actually took place. a sale transaction of illegal drugs took place as there appeared to be no prior meeting serving evidence and cannot prevail over the positive and straightforward or conversation between him and appellant. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. As to their warrantless arrest. the RTC held that such arrest was legal since Section 21. and who have no prosecution’s narration of facts.00) each with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. and that their testimonies were spontaneous.000. to wit: (1) the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for proper disposition. 2011.24 The RTC found that the police officers complied with all the requirements in Ruling of the CA conducting a buy-bust operation. and "Aida" was the arrangement made by the CI for the sale of shabu. It stressed that from the presumed to have performed their duties in accordance with law. (2) the corpus delicti or the illicit drug was presented reasonable doubt. and (3) that the buyer and seller were identified.A. Ruling of the RTC SO ORDERED.

there is evidence to the contrary suggesting ill-motive on their part or deviation from the regular performance of their duties. seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to bust operation as he positioned himself across the street 15 meters from the house of presentation in court for destruction. confiscated the transparent plastic sachet containing white Section 21. as their CI had only informed of such ill-motive on the part of the PDEA buy-bust team was adduced by appellant. 1. Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs. Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. SPO1 Cariaso had already arrested appellant and Imelda Solema. conducted a chemical analysis of the said specimen. 9165 laid down the procedure for the custody and Platon immediately proceeded to the scene and arrested Jenny del Rosario who was disposition of confiscated. were clear indications that they acted in coordination and conspiracy to effect was not shown to have been done in the presence of the accused.A. 27 Since no proof . No. of course. "chain of custody" is defined as the duly recorded Cariaso and examined by Pol.28 payment from SPO1 Cariaso after giving the shabu to the latter. 9165. seized and/or officers for they enjoy the presumption of having performed their duties in a regular surrendered. The same specimen was presented in court as evidence after it was properly identified by SPO1 Cariaso Under Section 1(b) of Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. "Aida" (Imelda Solema) with whom the CI had the RTC and CA did not err in giving full faith and credence to the prosecution’s set up a drug deal for 100 grams of shabu for the price of P360. for proper disposition in the following manner: manner. No. It is settled that in cases involving violations of the dangerous drugs. transaction arranged the previous day by the CI. appellant argues this is fatal to the case of the prosecution.A. appellant getting something from the Vios and returning to the Revo carrying the said item. authorized movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory equipment of each stage. Insp. He bust on the plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance sold to him by thus contends that the chain of custody was broken in this case. still inside the Vios. – The Clearly. Such record of movements and custody of Imelda Solema. to be the same substance handed by appellant to SPO1 which implements R. a dangerous drug. controlled precursors and essential chemicals. the date and time when such transfer of custody were Cariaso conversing with Imelda Solema. and his act of delivering the shabu directly to SPO1 operation (which is a form of entrapment) is a valid means of arresting violators of Cariaso clearly identified him as the seller who himself demanded and received the R. Jr. appellant. unless. Jr. Apostol. seized or surrendered dangerous drugs. the result yielded positive for We sustain the CA’s ruling on the chain of custody issue. and with Imelda Solema informing He harps on the failure to immediately mark the seized shabu at the scene of the SPO1 Cariaso that they should wait for appellant after SPO1 Cariaso asked for the incident and photograph the same. all the elements of the crime were established by both the oral and object PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs. Insp. From his vantage.000. Seized. Upon hearing the call from SPO1 Cariaso’s cellphone. SPO1 custody of the seized item. and Pol. Apostol. waited for him. After Forensic Chemical Officer Pol. SPO1 Platon saw the following transpired: SPOI seized item shall include the identity and signature of the person who held temporary Cariaso accompanied by the CI in front of the house of Imelda Solema. No. and/or Surrendered crystalline substance and recovered the marked money from appellant. This Court has repeatedly stressed that a buy-bust presence at the buy-bust scene. At that moment. Article II of R. and the final the Vios.00.were initially unaware of the identity of appellant. Dangerous Drugs. them about appellant’s co-accused. appellant’s account of the buy-bust operation. 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated. Apostol. Insp. credence is given to prosecution witnesses who are police instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated. Crime Laboratory. Appellant assails the CA in not correctly interpreting the requirements set forth in Appellant’s arrival at the house of Imelda Solema at the appointed time of the sale Section 21.A. methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.A. as well as Dangerous Drugs Act. appellant going inside the Revo where SPO1 Cariaso and Imelda Solema disposition. SPO1 Cariaso placed his initials and date of buy. 9165. from the time of SPO1 Platon corroborated the testimony of SPO1 Cariaso that they conducted a buy. No. SPO1 Section 21. Jr. Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. the subsequent arrival of appellant on board made in the course of safekeeping and use in court as evidence. As to the absence the sale of shabu to a buyer brought by the CI and who turned out to be a police of testimony by the investigator and the receiving employee of the PNP Regional officer detailed with the PDEA. and the inventory of the confiscated items which shabu. Article II of R. plant sources of evidence presented in court. Series of 2002.

their noncompliance did not affect the evidentiary weight of the drugs seized photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such from appellant as the chain of custody of the evidence was shown to be unbroken items were confiscated and/or seized. What is important is that the seized equipment. the completed forensic laboratory examination on the same within the next The Certificate of Inventory. plant sources of dangerous drugs. (1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs practicable.A. From drugs. while SPO1 Cariaso testified that he immediately marked the transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance sold to him by appellant. In this case.) (DOJ). a representative from the media and the Department of Justice items[.] (Emphasis supplied.A. as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory before its turnover to the investigator on duty. and controlled precursors and essential chemicals does not seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. (3) A certification of the forensic laboratory examination results. or his/her representative or counsel.A. That a final certification shall be issued on Records reveal that only the marked money was photographed at the PDEA office. in case of warrantless seizures. as the same examination report shall be provisionally issued stating therein the would be utilized in the determination of the guilt of the accused. a under the circumstances of the case. No. We thus find substantial compliance with the requirements of Section 21 of R. On the other hand. that non-compliance shall. What is of utmost importance is the allow the completion of testing within the time frame. Article II of R. a representative from the media and a barangay councilor. of the illegal drug recovered from the station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team. there (2) Within twenty-four (24) hours upon confiscation/seizure of dangerous was no statement as to whether such marking was made at the place of arrest. team leader PCI Ablang. xxxx 9165 and IRR. Kamad. shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said or counsel. as long as the integrity and the photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending whom such items were confiscated and/or seized. which This Court has already ruled in several cases that the failure of the prosecution to shall be done under oath by the forensic laboratory examiner. was duly signed by twenty-four (24) hours. that the physical inventory and photograph shall be must establish in the chain of custody in a buy-bust situation to be as follows: first. controlled precursors and essential the records it is clear that such marking was done upon reaching the PDEA office chemicals. the same shall be submitted to the PDEA Forensic Laboratory specimen never left the custody of SPO1 Cariaso as he was present throughout the for a qualitative and quantitative examination. physically inventory and 9165. whichever is accused by the apprehending officer. physically inventory and with these requirements under justifiable grounds. 30 In the instant case. Section 21(a) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) Time and again. Provided. further. however. jurisprudence is consistent in stating that substantial compliance of R. physical inventory being conducted by the said investigator. or at the nearest police the seizure and marking. a partial laboratory preservation of the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items. 9165 reads: with the procedural aspect of the chain of custody rule does not necessarily render the seized drug items inadmissible. It does Provided. if practicable. plant sources of not automatically render accused-appellant’s arrest illegal or the items dangerous drugs. the turnover of the illegal drug seized . representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ). is not fatal. shall. That when the volume of the dangerous drugs. No. immediately after seizure and confiscation. though not signed by the accused. and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given In the case of People v. and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. 29 quantities of dangerous drugs still to be examined by the forensic laboratory: Provided. or his/her representative officer/team. although the police officers (a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs did not strictly comply with the requirements of Section 21. 31 the Court enumerated the links that the prosecution a copy thereof: Provided. shall be issued show that the police officers conducted the required physical inventory and within twenty-four (24) hours after the receipt of the subject item/s: photograph of the evidence confiscated pursuant to the guidelines. immediately after seizure and confiscation. second. No. conducted at the place where the search warrant is served.

receiving clerk of the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory is not a crucial point against .1âwphi1 With costs against the accused-appellant. The Decision dated November process of testing the specimen for shabu.000. the evidence must be clear and convincing and should show that the inventory thereof. shall sell. A J.A. Forensic Chemical Officer Pol. the present appeal is DISMISSED. Laboratory on the same day. The non-presentation as witnesses of other persons such as the investigator and the SO ORDERED. properly performing their duty. distribute. He members of the buy-bust team were inspired by any improper motive or were not was present next to the investigator while the latter was conducting the inventory.000. July 12. July 12. third." While the marking was not immediately made at the crime With the unbroken chain of custody duly established by the prosecution evidence.A. the RTC. only SPO1 Cariaso was in indispensable that each and every person who came into possession of the drugs possession of the same until it was brought to the PDEA office.A.C. July 12. 2006" presented as evidence in court (Exhibit "J") as the AFFIRMED in toto. Hence. The prosecution has the discretion as to how to present its case examination."36 himself marked the said sachet of shabu with his initials and date of buy-bust: "EXH A J. The matter of presentation of witnesses by the prosecution is not for investigating officer of the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for laboratory the court to decide. Insp.000.000. No. trade. The CA even quoted in part the decision of the RTC which the specimen to the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory."34 death and fine. which requires each and every one who came into contact with the seized drugs to testify in court. 2006. It was likewise SPO1 Cariaso highlighted the irreconcilable inconsistencies in the testimonies of defense witnesses who brought the said request and the specimen to the PNP Regional Crime on what transpired during the buy-bust operation. correctly substance which was marked "EXH A J.A. 33 appellant who failed to substantiate his allegation of frame-up and extortion. 2006". No. It is a common and standard line of defense in testified that he turned over the seized plastic sachet containing shabu with his prosecutions of violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act.00 to P10. who. is generally viewed with caution by the Court because it is easy to The second link is the turnover of the shabu at the PDEA office. SPO1 Cariaso contrive and difficult to disprove.00 shall be imposed upon any person. receiving clerk. 9165. the penalty of life imprisonment to the said request bearing the time and date received as "10:25 PM July 12. CR-H.by the apprehending officer to the investigating officer. 35 Further. the turnover and submission of the marked illegal drug and it has the right to choose whom it wishes to present as witnesses. dispatch in transit or transport any examination is the one presented in court. 37 To substantiate such markings "EXH A J. the turnover by the the prosecution. July 12. Records show that from the broken and the prosecution did not fail to identify properly the drugs seized.C. as affirmed by the CA. like alibi. July 12. "As long as The first link in the chain of custody starts with the seizure of the transparent plastic the chain of custody of the seized drug was clearly established to have not been sachet containing shabu during the buy-bust operation. The fourth link seeks to establish that the specimen submitted for laboratory deliver. was given to him by the imposed the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of P1. 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR. give away to another. it does not automatically impair the integrity of the chain of custody as long as the CA did not err in giving the same full credence in contrast to the denial by the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items have been preserved. there seized from the forensic chemist to the court. 2006" to the receiving clerk as evidenced by the stamp receipt on Under Section 5. dispense. He personally turned over the specimen marked "EXH A J. 2006" to the investigator who proceeded with the defense. Jr.C.00. including any and all species of opium poppy regardless of the Apostol.A. dangerous drug. Article II of R. testified that the transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline quantity and purity involved. unless authorized by law.000. even explaining in detail the WHEREFORE. Within twenty-four hours.32 is nothing in R. the police officers' testimonies on the operation deserve full faith and credit. along with the marked money also confiscated from appellant.C. SPO1 Cariaso should take the witness stand. scene. and fourth. Frame- up. He identified the specimen with markings 11. he conducted the chemical analysis by taking a representative sample from the specimen.A.C. Otherwise. same specimen he examined and which he found positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. 9165 or in its implementing rules. it is not time appellant handed to SPO1 Cariaso the said item. No. 03483 is hereby "EXH. administer.38 No such evidence was presented by The third link constitutes the delivery of the request for laboratory examination and appellant in this case. 2006.A.C. ranging from P500.

Jabonillo (Forensic informant came to their office with the information that a person named "Ningning" Chemist Jabonillo) of Central Police District Crime Laboratory in his Chemistry was selling drugs at 22-C Salvador Drive. Accused-Appellant.00- peso worth of illegal drug. However. Gerardo B. No.19 He also identified the small plastic sachet of shabu as the subject of Prosecution witness P03 Leonardo R.5 A buy-bust group was created consisting of SPO2 Nagera.10 Initiating a conversation. Plaintiff-Appellee. Reyes (PO1 Reyes). as 2005.7 At 8:00 o’clock in the evening. Joel asked for payment and PO3 Ramos handed the P200 marked money. When PO3 Ramos asked for Ningning. PO1 Alexander witness stand. Ningning opened the door and handed Joel a small plastic sachet of shabu which in turn was handed to PO3 Ramos. rendered by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City for violation of Section 5. Ramos (P03 Ramos) narrated that he acted as a the illegal transaction through the marking "LRR" he placed on it. 2013 of the team rushed to the place to arrest Joel.13 Joel tried to close the door to prevent the police officers from entering the house but PO3 Ramos was able to grab him.00-worth of shabu would . Toyota Corolla and owner-type jeep.6 During the briefing. SPO2 Nagera quickly went upstairs to arrest Ningning but the latter was able to vs. the rest G.8 Upon their arrival at 9:35 o’clock in the evening. PO1 Peggy events.9 The informant identified "Gigi" as the accused Joel.A. Joel answered that she was upstairs. PO1 Teresita B.R. No. PO3 Ramos added that PO1 Jimenez was present at the time of arrest which Article II of R.3 He recalled that on or about 4:00 o’clock in afternoon of the said date.15 DECISION Joel was brought to the police station and was informed by PO1 Jimenez of his PEREZ.22 leader SPO2 Dante D. J. Ratuita) for the conduct of a buy-bust SPO2 Nagera was also called to the witness stand to present his version of the operation. be bought from "Ningning" by PO3 Ramos. Jimenez (PO1 Jimenez) and PO3 Ramos who was designated as the poseur- buyer. the small plastic sachet recovered was marked by PO1 Jimenez inside the station and an inventory This is an appeal filed by herein accused Joel Clara y Buhain (Joel) from the receipt was prepared.14 PO3 Ramos immediately frisked Joel inside the house but JOSE CLARA y BUHAIN.17 PO3 Ramos clarified that the plastic sachet was in the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) affirming the decision of conviction possession of PO1 Jimenez from the place of arrest until arrival at the police station. PO3 Ramos touched his head as a pre-arranged signal to prompt the back-up police officers of the consummation of the illegal sale. Before leaving for their target. the marked money was given to Ningning when Joel went upstairs to get the plastic sachet. a male certified by the examining Forensic Chemist Engr. Ningning’s uncle. 9165. PO1 Reyes prepared a Pre-Operation Report and forwarded it to the Tactical Operation Communication of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for coordination. the informant introduced to Joel PO3 Ramos as a buyer of P200. Quezon City. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.2 explained his possession of the plastic sachet containing shabu. the District Anti.12 Thereafter.16 Afterwards.4 Police team Report. Immediately.18 The factual rendition of the prosecution follows: Inside the courtroom. the team proceeded to the area on board three vehicles: Nissan Sentra.: constitutional rights as a consequence of his arrest. PO3 Ramos and the informant knocked on the door of the house while the rest of the team positioned themselves ten meters away. failed to recover anything from him. escape apprehension. he brought the plastic sachet containing the specimen to the crime laboratory for Illegal Drug Special Task Group (DAID-SOTG) of Quezon City on 12 September examination21 where it was tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride. it was agreed upon that P200. Leonard M. Nagera (SPO2 Nagera) endorsed the matter to their Chief of Office Col. 195528 July 24. PO3 Ramos identified Joel as the one involved in the illegal transaction. Balonbato.11 Joel went upstairs and called Ningning.20 He testified that poseur-buyer in a buy-bust operation conducted by their office. some inconsistencies surfaced during his examination at the Lynne V. Vargas (PO1 Vargas). A. Ratuita (Col.

2005.000.34 The trial court ruled that Joel directly dealt with the poseur buyer and participated in On cross examination. he answered Joel was eventually charged with Illegal Sale of Dangerous Drugs punishable under that the informant was a female. 5 of R. Article II of R.A.33 He denied The shabu weighing 0. it was agreed upon by both parties that Forensic Chemist Jabonillo the buy-bust operation.40 "LRR. His version. contradicting the statement of PO3 Ramos. also differed from the versions had no personal knowledge as to how the plastic sachet containing specimen positive presented by PO3 Ramos and SPO2 Nagera.30 Ruling of the Trial Court The defense interposed denial.A.31 They got BUHAIN GUILTY beyond reasonable of the crime in violation of Sec. deliver. neither did they recite his term of Life Imprisonment and pay a fine of P500. He all the stages of the illegal sale. not being authorized by law to sell. the one holding the plastic sachet before it was turned over to PO1 Jimenez for dispense. transport or Further contradiction was made when SPO2 Nagera narrated that PO3 Ramos was distribute any dangerous drug. transport. when asked about on who dangerous drug.23 He Section 5.A. were used by the buy-bust team in proceeding to the target area.28 When arraigned. It testified that all of his siblings were in the province and his only companions in the pointed out that Ningning was able to escape the police dragnet while Joel was being house at the time of the arrest were his nephew and niece. in Quezon City.36 He also contradicted his earlier statement that he was The police operation and its coordination with the operatives of the PDEA would be sleeping with his nephew and niece downstairs when in his cross examination he said recognized by the appellate court as legally performed.26 He also admitted in his cross examination that he never saw POINT ZERO SEVEN (0.38 placed the initial "LRR" on the plastic sachet.00.42 shabu.43 On the contrary the that his niece was staying on the second floor of the house at the time of the arrival prosecution’s scenario that the police officers entered Joel’s residence and hauled of the police officers. he replied that he was waiting for his sister. the said accused. did.35 However.07) gram of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu). he was made to ride an owner type vehicle and was taken to the police station where he was only asked for his name. The forensic chemist merely confiscated was already marked by the apprehending officers when it was turned examined the specimen and found it to be positive for methamphetamine over to him for investigation. Joel pleaded not guilty to the offense charged. when asked arrested because of her familiarity as a drug operator with police operations.37 him out with no reason at all was found to be improbable. why the door was still open at around 10:00 o’clock in the evening. It found conspiracy between Joel and Ningning. 05-136719 also had difficulty in identifying the accused inside the court room when he was asked upon by the prosecutor to do so. The trial court on 21 March 2007 found the accused guilty of the offense charged. dispense. instead of three. ZERO investigation. Philippines. No.32 The police officers 9165 as charged (for drug pushing) and he is sentenced to suffer the prescribed jail did not inform him of the reason for his arrest. He testified that the plastic sachet for illegal drug came to of police officers’ possession.27 Finally. judgment is rendered finding the accused JOEL CLARA Y September 2005 when five uniformed police officers entered his house.07 gram involved in this case is ordered transmitted to the having sold drugs and having seen the marked money and plastic sachet containing PDEA thru DDB for disposal in accordance with R. hold of his arm and frisked him but failed to recover anything. one Nissan Maxima and one owner-type jeep. deliver. a Ningning during the entire buy-bust operation. he positively identified that it was the investigator who put the same. Afterwards. constitutional rights. however. 9165 before the Prosecutor’s Office of Quezon City.25 That on or about the 12th day of September."29 He positively identified that he saw the item being marked by the apprehending officers in their office. his testimony was dispensed and SPO2 Nagera that it was him who marked the plastic sachet with the initial with by the court. distribute or act as broker in the said transaction.When asked about the gender of the informant who came to their office.44 Ruling of the Court of Appeals . also differed from the statement of PO3 Ramos when he testified that only two The accusatory portion of the Information reads: modes of transportation.39 PO1 Jimenez was also presented in court as a prosecution witness to give details of During pre-trial. then and there willfully and unlawfully sell. As a consequence of these stipulations. Joel was also inconsistent in portions of his testimony.24 He Criminal Case No. The dispositive portion of the decision41 reads: Accused Joel denied any involvement in the buy-bust operation. He recalled that he was inside his house sleeping between 9:00 to 10:00 o’clock in the evening of 12 ACCORDINGLY. a contradiction of the statements of both PO3 Ramos hydrochloride. 9165.

was positively identified by the poseur buyer and the police officers. If the prosecution fails to meet the required amount of evidence. like Q: After informing him that you intend to buy dos of illegal drug. The prosecution A: He said that she was upstairs. and (2) the delivery of the A: I first asked where is Ningning. Inspite of the imperfect narration of events by the accused Joel. not even present evidence on its own behalf. xxxx In his Brief. rest on its own merits and must not rely on the weakness of the defense.49 of an illegal sale of dangerous drugs were present. as the seller of illegal drug. we knocked at the door and alias Gigi open (sic) After a careful review of the evidence.45 First. substantiate his innocence.46 Q: What happened there? Our Ruling A: When we reached the house sir. Finally. coupled with its Q: What was the conversation with you during that time? failure to establish with certainty the chain of custody of evidence. . Q: What was the answer of Gigi? It is basic in criminal prosecutions that an accused is presumed innocent of the charge laid unless the contrary is proven beyond reasonable doubt. The appellate court containing shabu in exchange of two hundred pesos. the accused-appellant contested his conviction due to the inconsistencies in the prosecution’s presentation of a supposed buy-bust operation. he pointed out that he was not even the target person in the PDEA Coordination Report and denied any conspiracy and involvement with Q: What was the answer of Gigi at that time? such target person named "Ningning. excluding A: He asked for my money.00 given by PO3 Ramos as poseur buyer. We quote the relevant portions: further held that the non-presentation of the marked money was not fatal since the prosecution witnesses were able to establish that the P200. in which case. the illegal sale was for a PO3 Ramos identified Joel as the seller who sold to him a small plastic sachet consideration of P200. Joel. Moral certainty only is required. In order to successfully prosecute an offense of illegal sale of dangerous drugs. we are constrained to render a judgment of acquittal due to the lapses of the prosecution that led to its Q: What was your answer? failure to discharge the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime.00.00 bill used to purchase FISCAL (to witness) the illegal drug was in the possession of Ningning who was able to evade arrest. crime laboratory as positive for Methamphetamine Hydrochloride which is a dangerous drug was presented during trial. sir. the defense may logically A: Yes sir. we resolve to reverse the ruling of conviction it. He also argued against the presumption of regularity of performance of duties. I gave the money. the object and consideration of the sale. possibility of error. In this case. and render a judgment of acquittal in favor of the accused. thing sold and the payment therefor."47 A: He asked how much. what happened? shabu. the prosecution failed to overcome such presumption when it presented Second. and Lastly. to A: The informant first introduced me to Gigi that I will be the one to buy shabu. A: I said ‘dos’. the presumption prevails In affirming the ruling of the trial court. the following elements must first be established: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller. the confiscated white crystalline substance which was found by the PNP inconsistent versions of an illegal sale. or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind. Q: What happened after that? Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean such a degree of proof as. has the burden to overcome such presumption of innocence by presenting the quantum of evidence required. produces absolute certainty.48 It must Q: Did you give the P200. the appellate court ruled that all the elements and the accused should necessarily be acquitted.

sir. Q: When he received that from Ningning at that time. SPO2 Nagera and PO1 . You said that it was the investigator who made the marking in the Q: Can you describe? transparent plastic sachet. other than searching. what other matters were taken during the arrest? A: No sir.54 (Emphasis supplied) A: That is the sachet I was able to buy. what happened after that? A: It was on top of the plastic sachet. after taking or A: After Gigi got it he gave it to me. sir. However. Q: What marking did you place? Q: What do you mean by area? A: LRR. A: At the area. sir. Witness. Q: Showing to you this transparent plastic sachet containing illegal drug. going [back] to the police station.52 (Emphasis supplied) that time? xxxx A: Yes sir. what did you do? Q: Other than putting the initial on the transparent plastic sachet immediately after the arrest Mr. PO3 Ramos initially testified that he placed his marking on the small plastic sachet Q: What was the marking placed? he was able to buy from Joel: A: LRR. she just open (sic) the door and handed the sachet of shabu. Q: You said that the investigator placed the marking in the transparent plastic sachet Q: Why? and likewise he was the one who made the inventory receipt. Q: x x x. what can you say about that.Q: After giving that money to Gigi. sir. A: The evidence that I was able to get from Ningning and it was the investigator who xxxx marked it. sir. what is the relation of that transparent plastic sachet to the plastic Q: What is the name of that investigator again? sachet you have just mentioned? A: Alexander Jimenez. A: In front of the house of the accused.51 (Emphasis supplied) A: He called Ningning from up stair (sic). inconsistent on material points from the recollection of events of PO3 Ramos. receiving the item from the accused during the arrest? Q: Can you describe that item you received from Gigi that came from Ningning at A: We made the inventory receipt. sir. In what particular place that he prepared this particular document? A: Because I placed my marking.50 A: I was in front of the investigator. what was the SOP in a buy-bust operation. where were you when the marking was placed on it? A: Yes sir. just a small plastic sachet. he would later present a new version on who marked the plastic sachet: Q: Did Ningning go to the place where you were talking with Gigi at that time? Q: Now. which apparently was given as proof of all the Q: Where is the marking? elements that constitute an illegal sale of drug is however.53 (Emphasis supplied) Q: If that small plastic sachet is shown to you can you indentify the specimen? xxxx A: Yes. The testimony of PO3 Ramos. sir.

Inconsistencies of the prosecution witnesses referring to the events that transpired in the buy-bust operation can overturn the judgment of conviction. Witness? custody of evidence of the sale of dangerous drug. Witness? However. he was with us. handling and turnover of the plastic sachet A: The investigator. Witness? A: We were there sir. the transaction really occurred or not. . Though Joel’s denial as a defense is weak. such cannot relieve the prosecution the burden of presenting proof beyond Q: Being the investigator you saw the item confiscated? reasonable doubt that an illegal transaction actually took place. when the police investigator put the initial.61 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 A: It was already marked by the apprehending officers.59 (Emphasis supplied) However.58 (Emphasis supplied) Q: What did the investigator do to shabu. Q: Where was PO3 Ramos when that plastic sachet.55 (Emphasis supplied) Q: What about the shabu. Mr. Witness? xxxx A: Ramos.1âwphi1 He readily answered that the PO3 Ramos pointed to PO1 Jimenez in his direct examination: informant was a female. PO1 Jimenez later testified that it was PO3 Ramos who marked the plastic The clear inconsistency in the presentation of facts is fatal. in this case. Inconsistencies and discrepancies referring to minor details and not upon the basic aspect of the crime do not diminish the witnesses’ credibility. the material inconsistencies A: In our office.00 going to the police station Mr. sir.56 (Emphasis supplied) A: It was turn (sic) over to the police investigator.Jimenez regarding the marking. SPO2 Nagera was Contradictory statements were further made as to who between PO3 Ramos and PO1 asked about the gender of the informant who went to their office to report about the Jimenez held the shabu from the time of the arrest until arrival at the police station. As held in Zaragga Q: Was it already marked when it was received by you? v. It creates doubts whether sachet in their office. Mr. who was in possession of the transparent plastic sachet from where you received that transparent plastic sachet in These conflicting statements of the prosecution effectively broke the chain of exchange to P200. Mr. Witness? Q: What happened next. sir. People.57 (Emphasis supplied) are furthered by inconsistencies of the police officers on minor details. Referring back to the narration of circumstances of the buy-bust operation. If the cited Q: Where? inconsistency has nothing to do with the elements of a crime.63 However. sir. when asked to describe what happened in the afternoon before the buy-bust operation. sir. sir.62 A: Yes. Prosecution’s failure to indubitably show the identity of the shabu led to the acquittal of the accused in that Q: Did you see it marked by the apprehending officer? case. Mr. Q: You mean to say that investigator was present when the accused was arrested in SPO2 Nagera narrated that it was PO1 Jimenez who marked the plastic sachet after it this case? was handed by PO3 Ramos: A: Yes sir. it does not stand as a ground to reverse a conviction.60 A: Yes. testified that a male Q: You said immediately after arresting and searching the accused in this case you informant came to their office to report about a person selling illegal drugs.65 said that you brought the accused to the police station. SPO2 Nagera pointed to PO3 Ramos as the one in possession: A: They placed their initial and prepared request for examination address to the Crime Laboratory sir. containing the dangerous drug of shabu. illegal activities committed by Ningning. reasonable doubt as to the identity of the corpus delicti.64 PO3 Ramos in turn. who was holding it in going to the police station.

the seizure and marking. from the moment the item was picked up to establish the following links.74 safekeeping and use in court as evidence. Provided. as long as the integrity and clarified that the item confiscated were already marked by the apprehending officers evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending when it was turned over to him in their office. Such record of movements and custody of seized item shall include the SPO2 Nagera was asked. namely: First. The inconsistent statements of the police officers generated doubt on whether the identity of the evidence seized upon apprehension is the same evidence subjected to . he pointed out that it was PO3 Ramos who held the item identity and signature of the person who held temporary custody of the seized item. Seized and/or Surrendered payment of the consideration. until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of Dangerous Drugs. Provided. representative from media and the Department of Justice (DOJ). the Essential Chemicals. from the time of the arrest until they reached the police where it was turned over to the date and time when such transfer of custody were made in the course of Jimenez for investigation.67. Controlled Precursors and the illegal subject of sale. they cannot seem to agree on the second link on who among them held the item confiscated from the time of arrest and confiscation until it was turned over to "Chain of custody" means the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of the investigator and the place where it was turned over. the promise or Section 21. and Fourth.75 it was explained that the chain of custody rule includes To establish the chain of custody in a buy-bust operation.69 charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs.66 In Malillin v. and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given PO3 Ramos testified that he placed his marking on the small plastic sachet but copy thereof. Third. whichever is area of arrest.Section 21(a) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R. seized and/or surrendered. or at least the nearest that it was the investigator PO1 Jimenez who put the marking in front of him at the police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team. Second. further. where it was and what the turnover of the illegal drug seized by the apprehending officer to the happened to it while in the witness’ possession.72 team/officer. if practicable. (a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall. in case of warrantless seizures. the payment of the buy-bust money. No. and the delivery of the illegal drug must be the subject of strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law- Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. People. shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. a grasp on what really transpired on the day of operation. which is highly improbable if they really had a clear items were confiscated and/or seized.70 SPO2 Nagera in his testimony confirmed that it was PO1 Jimenez practicable. the offer to purchase. controlled precursors and essential chemicals. that noncompliance who put marking on the plastic sachet. we rule that the prosecution failed to present a and/or laboratory so confiscated. offer to purchase the drug. the prosecution must testimony about every link in the chain. the turnover and submission of the marked illegal drug seized by the forensic chemist to the court. 9165 The "objective test" in determining the credibility of prosecution witnesses regarding provides for the procedure to be observed in preserving the integrity of chain of the conduct of buy-bust operation provides that it is the duty of the prosecution to custody: present a complete picture detailing the buy-bust operation—from the initial contact between the poseur-buyer and the pusher. the condition in which it was investigating officer. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated. for disposition in the clear picture on how the police officers seized and marked the illegal drug recovered following manner: by the apprehending officer and how the specimen was turned over by the apprehending officer to the investigating officer.A. when destruction. physically inventory and As to the first link of marking. PO1 Jimenez in his testimony with these requirements under justifiable grounds. that the physical inventory and the photograph shall be recanted his previous statement at the latter part of the examination and pointed out conducted at the place where the search warrant is served.71 However. and the final disposition. or his/her representative or counsel. plant sources of dangerous drugs. – The PDEA shall take abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense. the three police officers failed to agree on who among photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such them marked the plastic sachet.73 However. Likewise. the turnover by the investigating officer of the illegal received and the condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the chain. seized drugs or controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory equipment of each stage. immediately after seizure and confiscation. from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt PO3 Ramos positively pointed that it was PO1 Jimenez who took possession of the in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court and finally for item from the time of the arrest until arrival at the police station.68 The manner by which the initial contact was made. Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs. as well as instruments/paraphernalia In view of these guiding principles. exhibit would describe how and from whom it was received. in such a way that every person who touched the of the illegal drug recovered from the accused by the apprehending officer.76 drug to the forensic chemist for laboratory examination. the time it was offered in evidence.

A. The prosecution cannot rely on the saving clause provided under Section 21(a) of the IRR that non-compliance with the legal requirements shall not render void and invalid seizures of and custody over said items. This saving clause is applicable only if prosecution was able to prove the twin conditions of (a) existence of justifiable grounds and (b) preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the items. this is not a hard-and-fast rule. Cruz: In case of conflict between the presumption of regularity of police officers and the We need only add that the active presumption of innocence of the accused. In numerous cases. Virac. Branch 43.77 The procedural lapses in this case put to doubt the integrity of the items presented in court. CR-H. The People. J. Accused-appellant JOSE CLARA y BUHAIN Accused-appellants Roger Posada (Roger) and Emily Posada (Emily) were convicted is hereby ACQUITTED and ordered immediately released from detention unless his by the Regional Trial Court (RTC). through the Office of the Solicitor General. is adamant in its argument that there is a presumption of regularity in the performance of duty by police officers conducting buy-bust operation. SO ORDERED. . The merchants of all prohibited drugs. Catanduanes. DECISION Inconsistencies committed by the police officers amounting to procedural lapses in REYES. the appeal is GRANTED. Posada regularity of their performance of duties.marking and inventory then given to the Jimenez for investigation and eventually submitted by PO3 Ramos for examination by the forensic chemist. Branch 103 of Quezon City is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.: observing the chain of custody of evidence requirement effectively negated this presumption. inhibitions of the Bill of Rights. we should bear in mind the words emanating from the pen of former Justice charges. We at all times harmonize the interest of the accused alongside the interest of the State. otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act improper motive tends to sustain inexistence but does not absolutely rule out false of 2002.R. we rule for the acquittal of the accused. in Criminal Case continued confinement is warranted for some other cause or ground. No. Their inaccurate recall of events amounted to irregularities that affected As we decide this appeal involving a couple who allegedly violated Republic Act the presumption and tilted the evidence in favor of the accused." directly constitute the recollection of events of buy-bust together and failure of must be hounded relentlessly and punished to the observance of chain of custody of evidence which effectively broke the links to full extent of the law. subject only to the sustain conviction. 02714 affirming the judgment of conviction The Case dated 21 March 2007 of the Regional Trial Court. It does not mean that we straight away and without a blink of the eye rule on the People v. Isagani A. No. we rule that the latter must prevail as the support of everyone is needed to bolster the law imposes upon the prosecution the highest degree of proof of evidence to sustain campaign of the government against the evil of conviction.C. we were inclined to uphold the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty of public officers.[1] WHEREFORE. We agree but with qualification.79 drug addiction. 3490 for selling twelve (12) pieces of transparent sealed plastic sachet.78 However. The absence of No. 9165 (R. from the rich and powerful Due to foregoing flagrant inconsistencies in the testimonies of police officers which syndicates to the individual street "pushers. 9165). The 4 August 2010 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.

[6] Consequently. SPO1 Salvador Aldave.00 bill. the accused-appellants filed an appeal before the said receipt. Sta. called her and heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet. Cruz). a coin purse containing sachets of shabu and a smoking or introducing dangerous drugs into the body of a person. PO1 Roldan Area (PO1 Area) was able to buy one sachet of shabu from Emily for P250. (Asuncion) in the operation against the accused-appellants. Roger. 9165. SPO1 Aldave as the seizing Chief of Police of Virac Municipal Police Station and representative of the Philippine officer prepared and signed an RPS.4578 Area informed Emily of her constitutional rights.[15] . After receiving the money from PO1 Area. 3489 for While PO1 Area was holding the arm of Emily. Office. Article II of R. Contreras granted. who still had in her hands the coin possession of one piece of torn plastic sachet. 2005 test-buy yielded positive result. but the latter failed to utter any grams. at noontime of August 3. At this point. which the Honorable Jaime E. Armed with the search warrant. 2005. In his presence and in the presence of Kagawad Jena their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. pictures of the incident using his cellphone while the official photographer was also and fifteen (15) pieces of used lighter all of which are intended to be used for taking pictures.00. PO1 Area then with initial R.00. and one small pair of green Antecedent Facts scissors beside the bed inside a room. which she got from the coin purse. 2005 was received by a certain PO2 Emily gave PO1 Area one sachet of shabu. 12 pieces of small size heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets. After the search. P/CI Tria and his team proceeded identified as those bills photocopied and submitted to the Provincial Prosecution to Barangay Concepcion and coordinated with Punong Barangay Antonio Asuncion. (P/Insp. Asuncion.720. PO1 Area identified while the sachets of shabu marked as R-1 to R-12 were the sachets of shabu which himself as a police officer while giving the signal to his team that the buy-bust turned Roger handed to Emily and which were found in the possession of Emily after PO1 positive. the accused-appellants ask this Court for a complete exoneration from the enter the house. Jr. No. No. after the August 2. accused-appellants and a certain Johnjohn Urbano (Urbano). for laboratory examination dated August 4. P/CI Gil Francis Tria (P/CI Tria). [11] Asuncion.00 on August 2.[8] On August 4. and 15 pieces of used lighters from an improvised altar on top of a wooden table. of bills of different denominations. and one small of P50. in violation of bundle of money was found in Emily's possession. inside his house and closed the door. J. containing residue of a crystalline purse where she got the sachet of shabu and the buy-bust money. 2005.[3] Receipt for Property Seized (RPS). ordered surveillance on the activities of the Gonzales (Gonzales) witnessed the preparation and signing of the said RPS. When she returned at the scene of the operation. Some of these bills were [7] Thus. consisting of two pieces of P100. The couple was then brought to the police station.00 bill and one piece of P100. PO1 Area.00 bill and one piece containing white crystalline substance with sub-markings R-1 to R-12. 9165. A search of Roger's pocket yielded two According to the evidence of the prosecution. immediately after the operation and the execution of the search When the team of P/CI Tria reached the place of operation. P/CI Tria requested for a laboratory examination of a piece of small size standing in front of her house. he told her that he would buy shabu. the pieces of P50. he went but acquitted Roger in Criminal Case No. refused to sign the same. affirmed the RTC Decision as to the accused-appellants' conviction in Criminal Case No. [13] surveillance. they found Emily warrant. in violation of Section 5. 3490 Meanwhile. a pair of small scissors. [10] PO1 Area then prepared a Section 12. one plastic sachet containing residue of white crystalline substance. SPO1 Aldave was the first person to Now. handed to Emily P250.00 bill. Emily immediately went size crumpled aluminum foil and small size plastic sachet.containing Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or shabu with a total weight of 0. Kagawad Eva Sarmiento (Sarmiento) and a certain Robert Vargas (Vargas) witnessed the preparation of the Aggrieved by the RTC Decision. a body search on Emily resulted in the seizure applied for a search warrant.A. via a Decision[4] dated June 17. The request of P/CI Tria to her house and got a coin purse. totaling P2.[9] Roger was also convicted by the same RTC in Criminal Case No.[14] Jr. 2010. who was the poseur-buyer. PO1 Area identified himself as a police officer. 2005. Roger appeared and handed to Emily 12 plastic sachets the initial R was the sachet of shabu sold to PO1 Area during the buy bust operation of shabu which Emily placed inside the coin purse. followed by the barangay officials and his fellow officers. a piece of small aluminum foil.[12] Court of Appeals (CA) which.[2] word. Arcilla and Barangay Tanod Juan Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). Article II of R. The search to establish the chain of custody and integrity of the seized illegal items and to prove warrant was shown to Roger.A. Abanio [Abao] and Police Inspector Sta. containing white crystalline substance marked when she came near him. 3490 on the ground that the prosecution failed Roger Masagca (SPO1 Masagca) and PO1 Ronnie Valeza (PO1 Valeza). when Roger left Emily at the scene of the buy-bust operation. P/CI Tria took substance (allegedly shabu). 3489 on the ground of reasonable doubt. (SPO1 Aldave) forced the door open. P/CI Tria At the Virac Police Station. [5] As a result of the said however. Arcilla (Arcilla). the raiding team recovered one piece of aluminum foil. Cruz. The sachet with Subsequently. He arrested Emily while Roger ran away and went inside their house. SPO1 offense charged in Criminal Case No.

allowing SPO1 Aldave. which were respectively docketed as Criminal Case No. PO1 defined and penalized under Section 5 of said Law. but she was aware of the search conducted in their house because her husband informed her at the police station. Barangay Concepcion.] locally known as shabu.4578 gram. while his wife Emily was washing their clothes at his parents' house. Roger was brought to the patrol car where [P]rovince of Catanduanes. He saw a policeman. the one aluminum foil strip. they simply denied the accusations [17] both dated August 4. received personally from the receiving clerk (PO2 used lighter[. (1) piece small scissors (sic) and 15 pieces of Clemen). 9165 of Roger's house was forced open. of a crystalline substance[. at around 12 noon. conspiring. approached her and asked her if she was Emily Posada. Philippines. Emily denied that a buy-bust Section 12 of said law. unlawfully and feloniously possess and in control of one (1) piece of teared plastic sachet containing residue Issues . the door Urbano and Emily Posada y Sarmiento of Violation of R. 9165 defined and penalized under brought to the police station and subsequently detained. 3490 when he heard his wife calling out his name. did then and there willfully. committed as Valeza and Barangay Tanod Vic Vargas (Vargas) to enter his house. The said money amounted Honorable Court. she was brought to the 0.A. 3490 was later amended. whom she could not feloniously sell. patrol car where her husband Roger later joined her. 3489. Article II of against them. deliver and give away to another 12 pieces of identify. the said accused without the authority of law did to more or less P3. 3489 The undersigned Provincial Prosecutor accuses Roger Posada y The couple claimed that the police officers did not inform them why they were Urbano of Violation of R. the one heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet with marking R. Philippines and within the jurisdiction his wife Emily was taken.A. he was putting Criminal Case No.00.] with a total weight of Tria and Aldave arrived. SPO1 Masagca. Thereafter. shouting Police! Police! after which police officers Hydrochloride[. No. Subsequently. [20] to reflect a change in the weight of the seized drugs from 0. on the part of the accused-appellants. follows: PO1 Valeza allegedly took down the jackets hanging on the wall and searched them.9 gram to 0. province (sic) Likewise. committed as follows: operation was conducted against her.] and several marked money bills. The Informations state as follows: his three year-old child to sleep inside their house.] locally known as shabu[. later identified as PO1 Area. Both Roger and Emily were [18] [Emphasis supplied] then transported to the police station. Roger claimed that PO1 Valeza later The undersigned Provincial Prosecutor accuses Roger Posada y poked a gun at him. in barangay Concepcion. Inside the house.] which paraphernalia are (sic) fit or intended for Abanio) the above-mentioned marked pieces of evidence.[21] of the Honorable Court. 9165. unlawfully. both alleged that the money taken from Emily's wallet were the proceeds of Catanduanes. she was another. the Information for Criminal Case No. She then immediately smoking or introducing any dangerous drug into the body of a conducted laboratory examination. municipality (sic) of Virac.000. Meanwhile. 2005. Her picture was taken. Emily testified that on that fateful day of August 3. preventing him to move from the window. Roger claimed that on April 3.[16] However.A. Roger further claims that nothing Imelda Blvd. After the search. He then peeped through the window jalousies Criminal Case No. SPO1 Aldave took pictures while Vargas and SPO1 Masagca went inside the room That on or about the 3rd day of August 2005 at noontime along and searched the cabinets where toys were kept. (1) piece Subsequently. confederating and helping one Meanwhile. witness Police Senior Inspector Josephine Macura Clemen (PSI small aluminum foil. The accused-appellants were subsequently charged in two separate Informations. Meanwhile. yielding a result that the 12 pieces of plastic person.[19] sachets (with markings R-1 to R-12). the above-named accused without the authority of law. Roger was placed behind bars while Emily was placed at the detention cell of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). which Roger gave to Emily. and washing clothes at her mother-in-law's house when a man. was found in his house. with violation of Sections 5. municipality (sic) of Virac. [22] Criminal Case No.9 gram [-] a prohibited drug[. She alleged that the transparent sealed plastic sachet containing Methamphetamine man immediately held her hands.[23] then and there willfully. 11 and 12. 2005. the forensic expert. and a small size plastic sachet contained methamphetamine hydrochloride. 2005 (which was even a misleading R. 3490 and date since the event happened on August 3. That on or about the 3rd day of August 2005 in the afternoon in Roger also denied that the police officers presented to him a search warrant. pulling Emily towards the road. 2005). within the jurisdiction of the of the sale of their chickens.

A. The accused-appellants wanted us to believe that a day had lapsed before P/CI Tria misapprehended. 2005. No. 2005 does not indicate violation of Section 21 of R. or misapplied. and one small size crumpled aluminum foil and small size plastic sachet. 9165 gives us no seized illegal items. 9165. [32] Clearly. They even cited the testimony of P/CI Tria whose imprisonment will greatly affect the children they will leave behind once they where the latter allegedly admitted submitting the subject seized items on August 4. quantitative examination within the mandatory 24-hour period from Considering that the accused-appellants did not file a supplemental brief and that confiscation. the buy-bust operation.[29] On August 4. Cruz on the same date. 2005 was received by PO2 Abanio and P/Insp. are declared guilty beyond reasonable doubt. we now rule on the matter based on the issues [24] which the accused-appellants raised in their brief (2) There is an alleged discrepancy as to the number of plastic sachets before the CA. Kagawad Sarmiento and Vargas. No. containing white crystalline substance marked with initial BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. [26] ILLEGAL ITEMS. ACCUSED-APPELLANTS NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROSECUTION'S FAILURE TO ESTABLISH THE CHAIN OF Based on the records. 2005. PO1 Area received from Emily one sachet of shabu and after PO1 Area introduced himself and arrested Emily. from the foregoing. The age-old but familiar rule that he who alleges must prove his established the chain of allegation applies[33] in this case. and appellee People of the Philippines adopted its brief before the CA. even the Laboratory Examination Request dated August raised. The accused-appellants alleged that the prosecution failed to establish the chain of Furthermore. we will take pains in taking a second hard look on submitted the illegal drugs to PNP Crime Laboratory Service. the accused- items to the PNP Crime Laboratory Service for a qualitative and appellants failed to contradict the presumption. to wit: recovered from the accused-appellants and those submitted to forensic chemist PSI Clemen. However. No. other recourse but to respect the findings of trial court and of the CA.[25] R. with a bundle of money. the arrest of the accused-appellants and CUSTODY AND INTEGRITY OF THE ALLEGED SEIZED the confiscation of the illegal items happened at around 12 noon of August 3. 12 pieces of small size heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets.[30] While we give due credence to the trial court's evaluation of the credibility of witnesses absent any showing that the elements of the crime have been overlooked.A. 4. P/CI Tria THE ACCUSED-APPELANTS DESPITE THE requested for a laboratory examination of a piece of small size heat-sealed PROSECUTION'S FAILURE TO PROVE THEIR GUILT transparent plastic sachet. Sta. unless there is evidence (1) The apprehending officers allegedly failed to submit the seized illegal suggesting ill-motive on the part of the police officers. In fact.[27] PO1 Area prepared on the same day an RPS[28] in the presence THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING of Asuncion.A. containing white crystalline substance with sub-markings R-1 to R-12. the CA is correct in giving credence to the testimonies of the police custody and integrity of the seized illegal items because: officers as regards the timely submission of the subject illegal drugs since they are presumed to have regularly performed their duties. 2005. we are going to discuss the case following the issues the accused-appellants reglementary period. a close look at the testimony of P/CI Tria [31] will reveal that nothing in it would show that he submitted the alleged illegal drugs beyond the 24-hour Now. 9165. considering they are husband and wife mandate of Section 21 of R. 12 more sachets of shabu were found in the II possession of Emily. we find that the records of the case and the testimonies of THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE witnesses belie the accused-appellants' contention. The request of P/CI Tria for laboratory Our Ruling examination dated August 4. [34] In this case. the accused-appellants failed to adduce any evidence to prove their The prosecution has contention. I On the first factual issue. The accused-appellants' failure to show evidence custody and integrity of the that the police officers did not comply with Section 21 of R. The said 12 sachets of shabu were inside a coin purse. What goes against the accused- appellants is the fact that they have not offered any evidence of ill-motive against the . contrary to the the issues the accused-appellants raised.

and small size transparent plastic sachet contains residue or granules of Methamphetamine On the second factual issue. she received one piece of small size heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet with marking R. a review of the defense-quoted testimony of PSI Clemen would show that during drug buy bust operation. whether the white crystalline granules inside Thirteen (13) pcs small size transparent heat Finding the accused-appellants' arguments without a leg to stand on. while PSI Clemen allegedly testified B Twelve (12) pcs small size heat sealed transparent plastic that a total of 15 sachets were submitted for examination.[38] only fourteen (14) plastic sachets were recovered from the accused-appellants. PSI Clemen's testimony tallies with the Laboratory Examination Request suspect during the execution of search warrant number (Exhibit J) of P/CI Tria. We reproduce Exhibit J below. the accused-appellants self-serving and uncorroborated defenses did not prevail over the 1. 3489 and 3490 and the testimonies buy bust operation.] Judge Jaime E[.[40] 12 pieces small size heat-sealed marked as R-1 to R-12 [41] and one C One (1) small size crumpled aluminum foil and small small size crumpled aluminum foil and small size plastic sachet [42] totaling to 15 size plastic sachet confiscated/found in the possession of items. They insisted that AREA who acted as posuer (sic) buyer during the drug based on the Informations in Criminal Case Nos. Dumangay. Catanduanes COMPLAINANT Officer-in-Charge MEMORANDUM: Virac MPS FOR : The Chief FACTS OF THE CASE: Evidence submitted for PNP Crime Laboratory Service laboratory examination was bought and others Camp Gen Simeon A Ola were confiscated by the PNP team of Virac Legaspi City during Buy Bust (sic) operation and the . EXHIBIT QUANTITY/ DESCRIPTION The accused-appellants alleged that the integrity of the seized illegal items was A One (1) pc small size heat sealed transparent plastic compromised and their evidentiary value diminished because of the alleged sachet sachet (sic) containing white crystalline substance discrepancy between the number of plastic sachets recovered from the accused. the former could not be accused of improper DATE : 04 August 2005 motive to falsely testify against the accused-appellants. The same may be said in the the accompanying specimen to determine present case. Request conduct laboratory examination on trial court's findings on the credibility of witnesses. Therein. In People v. seald (sic) plastic sachets are Methamphetamine the apprehending police officers are presumed to have timely submitted the seized Hydrochloride or SHABU and also whether the illegal items to the PNP Crime Laboratory Service for a qualitative and quantitative one (1) pc small size crumpled aluminum foil examination within the mandatory 24-hour period from confiscation.[35] Considering that there was no existing relationship between the police SUBJECT : Laboratory Examination request for officers and the accused-appellants. evidence. to wit: 37 issued by Hon[. Emily even admitted that she did not know PO1 Area.] Contreras of RTC Branch 43. of witnesses Asuncion[37] and SPO1 Aldave. ----------------------------------------------------------- [36] we upheld the findings of the lower court on the presumption of regularity in the ----------- performance of official duties because there was no proof of ill-motive. with marking initial R the initial of PO1 ROLDAN appellants and those submitted to forensic chemist PSI Clemen. we find the accused-appellants' claim not supported by Hydrochloride or Shabu. Republic of the Philippines NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION SUSPECT/S Roger Posada y Urbano PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE Emily Posada y Sarmiento Virac Municipal Police Station John-John Bryan Urbano y Zafe Virac.[39] sachet containing white crystalline substance with markings R1-R12 found/confiscated from the suspect However. the poseur- buyer.police officers.

[51] GIL From the foregoing. to Pol Chief wit: Inspector Officer-in. from the moment the item was picked with R. She then immediately conducted a this office Laboratory examination result as soon laboratory examination.[44] P/CI Tria took pictures of the incident using his cellphone while the official photographer was also taking pictures. we have the next 12 items marked as R-1 to R-12. one plastic sachet containing residue of white crystalline substance. [49] Subsequently.A. The Supreme Court G[. every person who touched the exhibit would describe how and namely one small size crumpled aluminum foil and small size plastic sachet from whom it was received. by PO1 Area from Emily and 12 found in Emily's coin purse after she received the but the testimonies of the people involved in each link in the chain of custody. Asuncion. 15 pieces of used the accused-appellants' guilt lighters. seizing officer went inside the house of the accused. has established the FRANCIS chain of custody and integrity of the seized illegal items.[53] integrity of the seized illegal items. without an iota of doubt. open court. same from her husband Roger). Request acknowledge reciept (sic) and furnish above-mentioned marked pieces of evidence. we have the remaining two items submitted to the crime laboratory. yielding a result that the 12 pieces of plastic sachets (with as possible for subsequent submission/filing markings R-1 to R-12). of shabu. Sarmiento and Vargas witnessed. These witnesses would then describe the submitted to forensic chemist PSI Clemen. we say that the prosecution has established the chain of custody and in the chain to have possession of the same. doubt that the accused- appellants. It would include testimony about Based on the cited exhibit. prove beyond reasonable [47] Meanwhile. and one small size crumpled aluminum foil and small size plastic August 3. the one heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet with marking R same in court as supporting documents to this and the one aluminum foil strip contained methamphetamine hydrochloride. The request of P/CI Tria for laboratory examination dated August 4. the forensic expert. 2005 Catanduanes. not only the corpus delicti. was received by a certain PO2 Abanio and P/Insp. containing white of Section 11. Cruz. All these items total to 15 items it while in the witness' possession. witness PSI Clemen. After PO1 Area arrested Emily and confiscated the 13 sachets of shabu (one bought In the instant case. received personally from PO2 Abanio the 2. the prosecution. 2005. prepared and signed an RPS after the raiding team found a piece of appellants sold 12 sachets aluminum foil. No. Under up to the time it is offered into evidence. possession of the same [48] Thereafter. [45] Then PO1 Area The prosecution failed to prepared an RPS. the prosecution was able to present. we find that in Exhibit A we have the first item. transparent plastic sachets. As a method of authenticating evidence. in such a way that Exhibit C.] TRIA in People v. effect/execution of search warrant number 37 on R-1 to R-12. Thus. beyond reasonable doubt of Arcilla and Gonzales witnessed the preparation and signing of the said RPS. Sta. P/CI Tria requested for a laboratory examination number of shabu in violation of a piece of small size heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet. precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not Finally. SPO1 Aldave.[52] clearly discussed how chain of custody should be proven. the above-mentioned pieces of evidence were identified and marked. sachet. on August 4. 2005 in [B]arangay Concepcion Virac. the condition in which it was consistent with the testimony of PSI Clemen.[46] which Asuncion.00 bill.00 bill and one piece of P100. marked every link in the chain. 9165. and two pieces of P50. Article II of crystalline substance marked with initial R. containing white crystalline substance with sub-markings . evidence shows no discrepancy received and the condition in which it was delivered to the next as to the number of plastic sachets recovered from the accused-appellants and those link in the chain. the chain of custody rule Charge[43] requires that the admission of an exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be. [50] In case. where it was and what happened to confiscated and found in the possession of Roger. 12 pieces of small size heat sealed R. Under Exhibit B. Sanchez. but it has proven one small pair of green scissors beside the bed inside a room.

in fact. 9165 provides: said information. or shall act as a sale of the one sachet of shabu and charging both Emily and Roger for possession of broker in any of such transactions. Paloma. unless one sold to PO1 Area was marked with R. trade. while the prosecution was able to allege the identity of the of shabu were the sachets of shabu which Roger handed to his wife Emily and were buyer and the seller. shall sell. offense. both the trial court and the CA were wrong in convicting the couple for selling Before we proceed in discussing the guilt of the couple. dispense. including any and all species of opium poppy The unfortunate fact of this case is that rather than separately charging Emily for the regardless of the quantity and purity involved. Then.. (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefore. namely: of shabu. The ([P]10. From the evidence adduced. 3490. the accused-appellants were charged for selling 12 pieces of transparent sealed plastic sachet of shabu. we have no other choice law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit the but to acquit the accused-appellants of sale of 12 sachets of shabu. jurisprudence holds that the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs can been charged of selling one sachet of shabu and possessing 12 sachets only be successful when the following elements are established. from the foregoing discussion. Section 5. the initial contact between the Furthermore.000. selling the 12 sachets of shabu. and. the promise or other recourse but to resolve the ambiguity in favor of the accused. Without basis in fact. This is wrong. Based on the testimony of PO1 Area. Article II of R. Thus. administer. Doria. and we have set the standard in proving the informations.[61] . Dispensation. delicti of the crime. after she handed the one sachet of shabu to the poseur-buyer. it follows that such ambiguity must be resolved in favor of the alone or the police officer. The Information is defective for charging the accused-appellants of selling 12 sachets of shabu when. finally. they should have More. This proof is essential to ensure that accused-appellants. and in this case. when ambiguity exists in the complaint or information. deliver. An To our minds. the object and consideration of the sale. an essential element of the the illegal drug to the buyer. the 12 sachets [57] In the instant case. we must first take 12 sachets of shabu because the prosecution failed to show that the husband and wife into account a discrepancy in the Information for Criminal Case No. Here. the offer to purchase. they convicted the couple for selling the 12 sachets of shabu. To allow the prosecution to do this is to deprive the accused-appellants same. the prosecution must clearly and adequately show the details of the purported sale. Trading. namely. it failed to particularly allege or identify in the Information the not sold. 12 sachets of shabu. Truly. prosecution adduced. dispatch in transit or transport any dangerous drug. not only of the nature of the offense being charged. Information is fatally defective when it is clear that it does not really charge an the prosecution failed to show that the subject matter of the sale to PO1 Area was the offense[56] or when an essential element of the crime has not been sufficiently alleged. the 12 sachets of shabu. 5. since payment of the consideration. whether the latter be the informant offense charged. to wit: of their right to be informed.00) shall be imposed upon any person.[54] Subsequently. However.[60] we acquitted the accused for the prosecution's failure to two sets of corpora delicti when it should have separated the two in two different prove the crime of illegal sale of drugs. who.00. this was exactly what was done both by and the trial court and the CA. We must remember that one of the himself as a police officer.[55] give away to another. In the had indeed sold the 12 sachets of shabu. Administration. the very corpus Under the "objective" test set by the Court in People v.000. it must be pointed out that the prosecution filed a defective Information. but of the essential element of the offense charged. the court has no poseur-buyer and the pusher. while there was indeed a transaction between Emily and PO1 Area. the confiscated sachets of shabu were marked. the public prosecutor lumped the charges together to sale of 12 sachets of shabu.[59] Indeed. However. Emily had in her possession the 12 thousand pesos ([P]500. Sale. handed to Emily before their arrest were marked as R-1 to R-12. Thus. Emily sold to PO1 Area one sachet of shabu. They possessed them. The penalty of life Emily received additional 12 sachets of shabu from her husband Roger and when imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five hundred PO1 Area informed the couple of the buy-bust. which was Distribution and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or worth P250. while the 12 sachets of shabu Roger authorized by law. [58] Here. they should have not been convicted for (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller. Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. Delivery. the prosecution took the liberty to lump together In People v. distribute. essential elements to convict a person of sale of prohibited drugs is to identify with certainty the corpus delicti. Emily and Roger never sold the 12 sachets of shabu.A. based on the evidence which the SEC.00) to Ten million pesos sachets of shabu. the accused's delivery of there exists ambiguity as to the identity of corpus delicti.000. but which PO1 Area found in her possession after the latter identified subject matter of the sale or the corpus delicti.

PO1 Area's testimony showed no evidence that the transaction as the corpus delicti of illegal sale could not be established without a to the sale of the 12 sachets of shabu ever happened. he acted as the poseur-buyer complaint or information and that proved.A. Emily handed to PO1 included in the offense charged. possession of an item or object that is identified to be a prohibited drug. she possessed the same freely and rationale behind this ruling. After paying for and receiving the sachet of shabu from Emily. And failure to show that indeed there was sale means failure to prove the guilt of the accused for illegal sale of drugs. (2) such [63] Here. and the offense as of shabu. except where the seller is further following: (a) Barangay Kagawad Sarmiento who witnessed how PO1 Area caught apprehended in possession of another quantity of the prohibited Emily doing the illegal act. 4.[62] From the prohibited drugs and giving them away to another. sachets of shabu was not authorized. Upon returning. that is: PO1 Area found in Emily's accused-appellants should be convicted of possession. and then gave her the P250. and charged is included in or necessarily includes the offense proved. while the prosecution was able to prove the sale of one sachet of shabu. to wit: consciously. Rule 120 of the Rules of Court provides: To our minds. 9165. The same rule is applicable in cases of delivery of police operative. PO1 Area arrested the latter and found in her possession the 12 sachets of shabu. PO1 Area's testimony was corroborated by the testimonies of the absorbed in the sale thereof. it omitted) is patently clear that it never established with moral certainty all the elements of illegal sale of the 12 sachets of shabu. He When there is variance between the offense charged in the recounted how on August 3. such possession of the 12 that possession of prohibited or dangerous drugs is absorbed in the sale thereof. and (3) the accused freely and consciously of shabu and also to prove that the 12 sachets of shabupresented in court were truly possess the said drug. the testimony of PO1 Area is sufficient to establish concurrence of all the elements necessary to convict Emily of violating Section 11. No. (d) SPO1 Aldave who executed the Possession is a necessary element in a prosecution for illegal sale search warrant. and (e) Barangay Kagawad Arcilla who also accompanied the . he found the 12 sachets of shabu in Emily's possession. coupled with the presentation in court of corpus delicti. And after PO1 Area identified himself as a the former. or of the offense charged which is Area a piece of sachet containing shabu. told her that he would like to buy shabu. Jr. PO1 Area adequately showing that the accused possessed. of prohibited drugs.00. namely: (1) the accused is in sale actually happened. 2005 at around 12 noon. the prosecution failed to prove the existence of the sale of the 12 sachets possession is not authorized by law. Judgment in case of variance between allegation and proof. it is patently clear that the prosecution established with moral certainty all Since sale of dangerous drugs necessarily includes possession of the same. PO1 included in the offense proved. All these elements are obtaining and duly established in this case and we will discuss Notwithstanding the above-discussion. the the elements of illegal possession of shabu. Article II of R. Rather.[65] (Citations foregoing. Area saw Roger hand the 12 sachets of shabu to Emily who kept them in a coin purse. Emily then the accused shall be convicted of the offense proved which is returned to her house and got a coin purse. He approached Emily. (b) Barangay Captain Asuncion.[66] the subject matter of the sale between the accused-appellants and PO1 Area. because what For prosecution of illegal possession of dangerous drugs to prosper. It is indispensable that the prohibited drug subject of the sale be identified and presented in court. (c) P/CI Tria who witnessed the buy-bust operation and was one of the arresting officers. because possession is necessarily included in sale of illegal drugs. Sec. he witnessed how money changed hands. and since Emily put the 12 sachets of shabu in [64] Then Associate Justice Artemio Panganiban logically and clearly explained the the purse after receiving them from her husband. The prevailing doctrine is that possession of marijuana is Furthermore. PO1 Area vividly narrated the details of the buy-bust operation. sold and delivered a testified on the fact that accused-appellant Roger handed the 12 sachets of shabu to prohibited drug clearly indicates that possession is an element of Emily who kept them in a coin purse. We have consistently ruled physical and actual possession the 12 sachets of shabu. who testified that he drugs not covered by or included in the sale and which are was with the raiding team when the latter conducted the buy-bust operation and that probably intended for some future dealings or use by the seller. On Emily's Liability Section 4. the matters in the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is to show proof that the following essential elements must be proven. After receiving the sachet of shabu. since we are not ready to altogether exonerate the couple. who was then standing in front of their house. we convict both Roger and Emily of illegal them thoroughly below. That In the instant case.[67] From the foregoing. possession of prohibited drugs despite the fact that they were charged for the sale of illegal drugs.

Thus. we are obligated to put in jail all those. This is the essence physical possession of the opium to Cabinico while Chan Guy Juan had not yet of the constitutional presumption of innocence.raiding team in the search of the accused-appellants' house. we can liken the instant case to that of Juan because are both parents. while the two Chinamen were eventually convicted. All these witnesses completed all the angles of the buy-bust operation and the search on Emily's person Our ruling in Juan applies to the present case. Found in his possessions were a small amount of sugar and 28 cans of opium. that a person remains to be in possession of the prohibited drugs although he may not have or may have lost physical possession of the same. the provincial fiscal dismissed the case against Cabinico because he had no knowledge of the content of the sack. After a thorough investigation. was arrested by the local authorities. AS MAXIMUM AND A FINE OF P300. the bare truth is Emily was found in possession of 12 sachets of shabuon August 3. a sack which appellant Chan Guy Juan alleged was sugar. we cannot have other conclusion but to find Emily same 12 sachets of shabu to Emily. Thus. we cannot let this case pass us by without emphasizing the need for the public prosecutor to properly evaluate all the pieces of evidence and file the proper We resolve in the affirmative. he went to the house of therein appellant Chan OR SHABU. the 12 sachets up to the finding that she possessed the 12 sachets of shabu. Chan Guy Juan appealed his conviction arguing that he did not have actual physical possession or control of the 28 cans of opium. AS MINIMUM. after reviewing this case. But PO1 Area saw Roger hand the of the above-findings of facts. in that case. including fathers and mothers. said 12 sachets of shabu.Upon disembarking. can we also convict him of possession of the same 12 sachets of shabu considering that same had been found in the possession of his wife Emily? Finally. Juan. but both were held guilty of illegal take a second look at the facts and laws of this case because the accused-appellants possession of opium. Cabinico went to Lee See to get the said sack. TO FOURTEEN (14) YEARS (Cabinico) to go alongside of the steamer with his baroto. Lee See gave the Indeed. In the present case. But we held that both Chinese had constructive possession of the opium and that they were both guilty as principals. we recognized the fact case. [69] In other words. Samar through the (12) SACHETS OF METHAMPETAMINE HYDROCHOLORIDE steamer Ton-Yek. Cabinico SO ORDERED. In the Juan case. but when it is still under his control and management guilty drug pushers would be punished to the extent allowed under the law. The opium was confiscated and separate criminal charges were instituted against the two Chinamen and Cabinico. But if we have to take care of our children and the family where On Roger's Liability each of us belongs. the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 17. a fourth up to a seventh look to ensure that no child while Roger had lost physical possession of the 12 sachets of shabu to Emily. he had constructive possession of the same because they remain to be under his control and management.[68] we have clarified the meaning of the words having detriment of the community and its children.00. However. Lee See and Chan Guy Juan had SENTENCED TO THE INDETERMINATE PENALTY OF TWELVE (12) a lengthy conversation. We said that the said phrase included constructive possession. If only the the relation between the owner of the drug and the drug itself when the owner is not prosecution properly files theInformation and prosecutes the same with precision.4578 GRAMS AND ARE HEREBY Guy Juan. Convicting both Emily and Roger of possession of illegal drugs deprives their children of parents. A POSADA ARE FOUND GUILTY OF ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF TWELVE Chinaman named Lee See arrived at the Bay of Calbayog. in actual physical possession. that is. we did not only received the same opium from Lee See. Admittedly. Indeed. every accused deserves a second look before conviction. accusations. as in this and subject to his disposition. While Roger had lost physical possession of the guilty beyond reasonable doubt for possession of prohibited drugs. As to Roger. he will be left unattended because his parents were imprisoned based on false maintained constructive possession of the same. Chan Guy Juan then hired a certain Isidro Cabinico YEARS AND ONE (1) DAY. of the prosecutor's sloppy work and failure to file airtight cases. Accused-appellants ROGER POSADA and EMILY To elucidate. 2005. we must go back to the circumstances surrounding the Juan case. to carry and deliver to him AND EIGHT (8) MONTHS. WITH A NET WEIGHT OF 0. information to serve the ends of justice. We take a third. The public prosecutor must exert all efforts so as not to deny the People a remedy against those who sell prohibited drugs to the In United States v.000. who was living in the town of Calbayog. considering all of shabu were found in the possession of Emily. who peddle illegal drugs.[70] . Many drug cases are dismissed because possession of. on his way to the house of Chan Guy Juan. WHEREFORE. 2010 is MODIFIED.

2007. Makati City for violations of R.02) gram. gram or a total of zero point zero four (0. 2007. in the City of Makati. custody and control two (2) plastic sachets of in CA-G. Barangay Olympia. did then and there willfully. Plaintiff-Appellee. CR-HC No. No. Metro Manila. not being lawfully authorized to possess and/or use dangerous drugs and For review of this Court is the appeal filed by Gerry Octavio (Octavio) and Reynaldo without any license or proper prescription. in the City of Makati.: Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Makati City. II of Republic in violation of the aforesaid law. without the necessary license or prescription and without being authorized by law. deliver and give away Php200.R.) No. in vs. 9165. in the City of Makati. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. unlawfully G.02) PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the above-named accused. 199219 April 3.5 charges Gerry Octavio y Florendo with violation of Section 5 thereof in the following manner: On the basis of this report. otherwise known as the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002. The first information Street. not being lawfully authorized to possess and/or use dangerous drugs and without any license or proper prescription.02) gram or a total of zero point zero four (0.00 worth of [Methamphetamine] Hydrochloride (Shabu) weighing zero point zero two (0. PEREZ. respectively. 07-1580 (Sumudlayon) as the designated poseur-buyer and immediate back-up.A. Two (2) pieces of One Hundred Peso bills were pre-marked to be utilized as buy-bust . custody and control two (2) plastic sachets of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu) each weighing zero point zero two (0. That on or about the 16th day of August. Metro Manila. 07-1582 DECISION That on or about the 16th day of August.04) gram.04) gram. did then and there willfully.A No. Metro Manila. an informant went to the Office of the Makati Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC) to report the alleged On 21 August 2007. the above-named accused. Branch 65. Makati City finding both accused guilty of violating Article (0. The CA affirmed the Decision of the Regional Trial [Methamphetamine] Hydrochloride (Shabu) each weighing zero point zero two Court (RTC). Accused-Appellants. J. 07-1581 That on or about the 16th day of August. three (3) separate Informations were filed before the Regional rampant illegal drug trafficking activities of Gerry Octavio alias "Buboy" at Pateros Trial Court (RTC). No. 2007. violation of the aforesaid law. 9165.4 Act (R. a dangerous drug. which is a dangerous drug.* CRIMINAL CASE NO. 2013 and feloniously have in his possession. the above-named accused. which is a dangerous drug. unlawfully Cariño (Cariño) assailing the 29 March 2011 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) and feloniously have in his possession. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. The third information charges Reynaldo Cariño y Martir (Cariño) of violating Section 11 of R. an anti-narcotics team was formed to conduct a buy-bust operation with MADAC operatives Danilo Baysa (Baysa) and Danilo Sumudlayon CRIMINAL CASE NO.R. Version of the Prosecution: The Antecedents At around 7:00 o’clock in evening of 16 August 2007.A.3 GERRY OCTAVIO Y FLORENDO and REYNALDO CARIÑO Y MARTIR.2 The second information charges the same accused with violation of Section 11 of the same law allegedly committed as follows: CRIMINAL CASE NO.. JR. 03900. did then and there willfully. to wit: VELASCO. unlawfully and feloniously sell.· 9165.

two Ruling of the RTC (2) pieces of small plastic sachets containing suspected shabu and another two (2) P100 bills. as advanced by the herein accused. Makati City. 07-1581. In Criminal Thereafter. MADAC operative Sumudlayon. proceeded to the target accused Gerry Octavio was also arrested.9 Both accused vehemently denied the charges against them. an investigator accordingly produced plastic sachets of shabu which The transaction having been consummated.A. 07-1580. on the other hand. as well board was MADAC operative Ed Monteza who previously invited him to the as the SAID-SOTF. frame- already nowhere in sight. Brgy. respectively. they handcuffed and boarded him inside their vehicle. No. Meanwhile.00. Since the accused were unable to give any information. When he did not 9165. Makati City on 16 August 2007 upon proper coordination with barangay hall in connection with an investigation regarding persons suspected to be the PDEA. was able to arrest On 23 March 2009. MADAC operative Baysa introduced himself before effecting pre-trial. was Cesar Martir. tried to convince alighted therefrom and wanted to know where he was going. Proper coordination was made with the Philippine Drug Enforcement office. Accused Cariño maintained that at around 6:00 c’clock in the evening of 17August 2007. passing through Pateros Street. Upon seeing him. the team spotted Octavio conversing with 16 August 2007. ano?"). accused Octavio and Cariño failed to present drug peddlers within the neighborhood. R. for his part. accused Octavio narrated that at around 6:30 o’clock in the evening of Upon arrival at the designated area. is generally looked upon with caution target natin. Taking their cue. was sentenced in Criminal Case No.7 as maximum and to pay a fine of P300. two (2) armed men as a "scorer" or user of shabu. The RTC ruled that allegedly told his companions that they arrested the wrong person ("Hindi iyan ang frame-up. operative Baysa intimated that he needed P200. together with the asset. he was walking along Pateros Street on his way to the house of another male person along an alley.money.000. Once shabu. who was later identified as the herein accused Gerry Octavio y Florendo. the arrest of the subject. Cariño. Martir. where his co- Agency (PDEA) before the team. of materials needed to repaint her vehicle. Gimena] (PO1 Gimena) and MADAC operative Sumudlayon rushed to Upon arraignment. MADAC operative Baysa executed the were allegedly recovered from them. In Criminal Case No. Two (2) pieces of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing the same accused Octavio was sentenced to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay illegal substance were recovered from his possession. he saw MADAC operative Eduardo Monteza who arrested him sometime in alias "Nano" before asking him how much he wanted to purchase. MADAC operative Baysa and the asset Sylvia Lopez.6 For his part. at the same time showing him of using illegal drugs ("Siguro i-iscore ka.") Thus. After the scene. Since he worked as a car painter.00 worth of shabu. MADAC Ed Monteza substantial evidence to establish their defense of frame-up. as well as the confiscated items were brought to the Case No. Like alibi. One of those on a valid buy-bust operation was conducted by the operatives of the MADAC.00. They later proceeded to the SAID-SOTF and MADAC up as a defense had invariably been viewed with disfavor as it is common and . The subject then introduced his companion to MADAC operative Baysa as inside. referring to his cousin who resided next door.00. Along the way. they handcuffed and boarded him just the same inside their vehicle. he was sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twelve SAID-SOTF office for further investigation and later to the PNP Crime Laboratory (12) years and one (1) day as minimum. They asked him if he the guilt of the two accused for violation of Sections 5 and 11. A routine body search upon his person yielded the marked money. He likewise saw his co-accused Reynaldo Cariño already on board the van. 07-1582 to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twelve (12) Version of the Defense years and one (1) day as minimum. introduced MADAC operative Baysa incoming Mitsubishi L-300 van. Although he denied the two (2) pieces of small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing suspected accusation. It ruled that the evidence presented during the trial adequately established that respond. both of the accused. They allegedly threatened to file charges against the accused if they one (1) small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing suspected shabu. When it stopped in front of him. to fourteen years (14) and eight (8) months as maximum and to pay a fine of P300.000." who was later identified as the herein accused Reynaldo Cariño y beyond reasonable doubt of the offenses charged. Olympia.10 On the other hand. both accused pleaded not guilty to the offenses charged. trial on the merits ensued. Article II. he was The RTC found that the prosecution succeeded in proving beyond reasonable doubt resting inside his house when four (4) men suddenly entered. gave him of Cesar Martir.8 pre-arranged signal to the rest of the team for assistance. [PO1 Michelle V. area.000. The other male person. refused to provide any information about him. however. MADAC 2003. the men asked if they knew the whereabouts simultaneously handing over the marked money to the subject who. to fourteen years (14) and eight (8) months for drug test and examination. the men returned to the house of Cesar Martir but the latter was by the court because it is easy to contrive and difficult to disprove. They likewise accused MADAC operative Baysa to buy shabu from him instead. who was familiar with the subject. in turn. he caught sight of an The asset. he was supposed to estimate the cost approached the duo while the rest of the team strategically positioned themselves. a fine of P500. the trial court rendered a decision finding both accused guilty alias "Nano. while Upon arrival at the SAID-SOTF office.

R. as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending The court-a-quo gravely erred in finding the accused-appellants guilty beyond officer/team. that he is present during the physical inventory immediately conducted after the seizure and confiscation of the drugs and he signs the copies of the inventory and is Accused-appellants submit that the trial court failed to consider the procedural flaws given a copy thereof. 9165. physically inventory and ill-motive on the part of the police operatives who conducted the same. Our Ruling Clearly.standard line of defense in most prosecutions arising from violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Relevant to accused-appellants’ case is the procedure to be followed in the custody and handling of the seized dangerous drugs as outlined in Section 21. Q: Am I correct to say that Eduardo Monteza called you up regarding the arrest of Article II. Barangay Captain Del Prado that no photograph was taken of the items seized from them. photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized. which reads: the suspect in this case? . or his/her representative or counsel. an elected public official. Accused-appellants maintain that such failure A: Yes. and Regulations of R. He was only asked to sign the inventory of the seized items shortly Q: Mr. It is enough The appeal is bereft of merit. and any elected and lacked strong corroboration.A.A. sir. 9165. further. paragraph 1. there is nothing in the aforesaid law or its implementing rules which require the presence of the elected public official during the buy-bust operation. R. 9165. The CA likewise upheld the findings of the trial court that the buy-bust (a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs operation conducted enjoyed the presumption of regularity. created a cloud of doubt as to whether the alleged shabu seized from them were the same ones forwarded by the apprehending officers to the investigating officer. or his/her representative or counsel. a The CA found accused-appellants’ defenses of denial and frame-up unconvincing representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ). physically inventory and photograph the The Ruling of the Court of Appeals same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized. Provided. Barangay testified as follows: Captain Del Prado. was not present during the alleged buy- bust operation. Article II of the Implementing Rules Captain Del Prado) about what transpired during and after the buy-bust operation. No. upon a finding that all of the elements of the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ). whichever is Accused-appellants raised in their brief a lone error on the part of the appellate court. Thus. It found credible the statements of prosecution witnesses Baysa. paragraph 1. immediately after seizure and confiscation. it ruled that the prosecution has proven as unbroken the chain of custody of evidence. that non-compliance to wit: with these requirements under justifiable grounds.13 items. or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team. Further.14 Accused-appellants allege During the cross-examination by the defense counsel.11 (1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall. in case of warrantless seizures. you mentioned it was evening time when Eduardo Monteza called after his arrival at the scene of the buy-bust operation. he has no personal you? knowledge as to whether the drugs allegedly seized from the accused-appellants were indeed recovered from them. to the Q: What was the date again? crime laboratory for examination and later presented in court. immediately after seizure and confiscation. Article II. absent any showing of shall.15 A: August 16 think. Sumudlayon and Barangay Captain Victor Del Prado (Barangay This provision is elaborated in Section 21(a). that the physical inventory and photograph shall be ISSUE conducted at the place where the search warrant is served. No. and any elected public official who illegal sale and illegal possession of dangerous drug have been sufficiently shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof.12 public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof: Provided. which states: Further. Witness. shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said reasonable doubt of the crime charged. No.A. established by the prosecution. committed by the arresting officers in the seizure and custody of drugs as embodied in Section 21. a representative from The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. practicable.

the testimonies of the apprehending officers deserve full faith and credit21 In fact. not only positively identified both accused but also identified the items contained in the inventory A: They told me the site of apprehension because I know the place of operation. No. THE COURT: Furthermore. ill will. we note and agree with the observation of the CA that the issue regarding the Q: The short. inadmissible in evidence. 9165 was not faithfully observed. Q: What about the other accused? No. A: I remember it’s white. sir. turned-over to the investigating officer. did you happen to see the accused? The integrity of the evidence is presumed to have been preserved unless there is a showing of bad faith.23 this Court brushed aside the accused's A: It’s maong shorts. if you can still remember? by public officers and the presumption that public officers properly discharged their duties20 Appellants in this case failed to present any plausible reason to impute ill A: I remember that Gerry was wearing sando and short. consists of five (5) transparent plastic sachets containing suspected shabu. he must so state in the form of an objection.18 In other words. A: I did not notice.A. Barangay Captain Del Prado. A: Yes. the prosecution must be able to present through records or testimony. .A.17 What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items. Mateo. he cannot raise the question for the first time on appeal. not be affected. belated contention that the illegal drugs confiscated from his person was inadmissible because the arresting officers failed to comply with Section 21 of R. then 2 items with marking ‘NANO-1’ and ‘NANO-2’ recovered from Sec. one with forwarded to the laboratory for determination of their composition. sir.16 A: Yes. because they were then sitting. it was designated by Ed Monteza. such procedural lapse is not fatal and will not render the items seized A: Pateros Street Barangay Olympia near Osmeña Street. They anchored their appeal solely on the alleged broken chain of the custody of the seized drugs. the first item from the accused by the arresting officers. those recovered from the possession of the said unbroken. or proof that the evidence has been tampered with.22 In People v. the subject which was bought from Buboy. motive on the part of the arresting officers. Appellants bear the burden of showing that the evidence was tampered or meddled with in order to overcome the presumption of regularity in the handling of exhibits Q: What were they wearing at that time. sir. as in this case. this Court has consistently ruled that even if the arresting officers failed Q: Where was the area of operation? to take a photograph of the seized drugs as required under Section 21 of R. 21 of R. No. sir. xxxx Q: When you proceeded to the place. For as long as the chain of custody remains with marking ‘BUBOY’ 1 and 2.A. Thus. sir. receipt. the place you would be? In the aforesaid testimony. to be are these items? admissible in evidence. when a party desires the court to reject Q: And his lower garment? the evidence offered. 9165.19 Q: When you proceeded to the place. Such testimony clearly established compliance with the requirement of Section 21with regard to the presence and participation of the elected public official. even though the procedural requirements provided for in @Buboy. then 2 plastic sachets time these are offered in evidence. and up to the marking ‘BUBOY’. what’s the color? break in the chain of custody of evidence was raised belatedly and only for the first time on appeal. 9165. accused-appellants did not even Q: What’s the color of the sando? questioned the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. because accused did not question A: I remember he’s wearing white t-shirt. Finally. Objection to evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal. will you please enlighten us what the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. Without such objection. sir. during trial the safekeeping of the items seized from him. sir. Whatever justifiable grounds may excuse the police officers from literally complying with Section 21 will remain unknown. the guilt of the accused will accused Reynaldo. as the same would be utilized in Q: You said that some items were shown to you. the whereabouts of the dangerous drugs from the time these were seized A: I remember four (4) items in the inventory receipt that I signed.

The accused was facing east and their vehicle was facing the inculpatory portion of which reads: west. 2010 arrested the accused and he was informed of his constitutional rights. (TSN. SPO2 Nestor Felipe informed them that he received a phone call from a concerned citizen that a male person wearing green t-shirt and brown maong [G. 2006. January 13. The trial court summarized the state’s evidence. accused making a motion of bringing out from his front pants pocket his hands Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. They likewise stipulated on the issue of whether or not the accused. x x x Police Officers Aldos and Bal also saw the accused threw something in the manner he described. It was SPO2 Bal who picked up the Castro was charged with possession of shabu in an Information dated July 26. a dangerous causing the dropping of an item. He was walking towards the east with his VELASCO JR.[2] which affirmed in toto the July 11. Police Superintendent Pagdilao dispatched a team of police officers composed of PO1 Inspector Aldos. 2003. plastic sachet of shabu. in Criminal Case No. 2008 Decision[3] of the Regional answer when he was asked whether or not he had authority to possess illegal drug. CONTRARY TO LAW.R. The plastic sachet of shabu was turned over to the Evidence Custodian. the herein accused did then and there April 13. WHEREFORE. 2011] bought shabu near the Iglesia Ni Cristo. of Appeals in CA-G. 31793. 2004. They approached him. Laoag City. He received the plastic sachet. he confirmed that he saw the willfully. VS.R. the sachet of shabu from Officer Bal and turned over the same to the evidence custodian five to ten minutes after the operation. He took hold of the accused. They were about ten (10) meters away from the accused. 193379 : August 15. 11.[4] Aldos were present when Officer Bal turned over the shabu to him.1 gram including sachet of shabu and it is the same item that was picked up by SPO2 Bal. I. they saw a male person with the green description. 13-17) When arraigned. accused-appellant Cesar D. the complaint desk officer received a telephone call informing that a male person wearing a green t- . Upon reaching the Iglesia RESOLUTION Ni Cristo church. PETITIONER. control and custody. SPO2 CESAR D. At the pre-trial conference. At about 4:45. They know his person as one of the drug personalities. pp. (RA) 9165 Section. The accused was walking. we find no reason to modify or set aside the identity of the accused. unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession. He cannot remember if there was a Post Operation Report. 2003.. locally known as “shabu”. Branch 16 in Laoag City. Trial on the merits then ensued. SPO3 Lagundino. They rode on the black Toyota RESPONDENT. or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. CASTRO. Philippines.: right hand placed on his pocket. Castro pleaded not guilty to the offense charged. They in CA-G. Bal and himself to verify the veracity of the report. as follows: PO1 JONEL MANGAPIT testified that: On July 25. as effectively reiterated in its August 10. policemen and brought something [out] from his pocket and threw it at his back. CR No. 2010 Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) things thrown by the accused were plastic sachets of shabu. in violation of the aforecited law. SPO2 ERNESTO BAL testified that: In the afternoon of July 25. CR-HC No. contained in one (1) plastic sachet. lighter and a coin. and knew that the content of the plastic sachet thrown by the accused was shabu. when arrested on July 25. the reference is to the accused thus charged in the information. the decision of the CA. whether he was authorized. From his experience he That on or about the 25th day of July 2003 in the City of Laoag. along Rizal Street). PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. he was assigned in the Intelligence and Operation Section of Laoag City Police Station at Barangay I. 2-10) On additional examination. He likewise confirmed that the item dropped was a drug. Art. without any license or authority. 03900 in is hereby AFFIRMED. The Castro (Castro) assails the January 6. the appeal is DENIED and the 29 March 2011 Decision of the Court was in possession of shabu and. such that whenever the name Cesar Castro is mentioned.R. (The Iglesia Ni Kristo is farther west of the Police station of Laoag City at Brgy. 2003. J. 10784-16. the prosecution and the defense jointly stipulated as to On the basis of the aforesaid disquisition. II of Republic Act No. weighing more or less 0. SPO3 Lagundino and Senior Insp. The accused panic upon recognizing them as In this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45. SO ORDERED. pp. Corolla … and proceeded to the place. No. (TSN within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. The thing that was thrown was 1 meter away from the back of the accused. if so. SPO2 Loreto Ancheta. He could not Resolution. The They brought the accused to the police station and he was indorsed to Investigation RTC found Castro guilty of violating Sec. 2003. Trial Court (RTC).

He did not weigh the representative sample. (ibid. he went back to the office and prepared another request for He did not protest when they told him to strip. PNP testified longer when Exhibit D was shown to him and that the same was 1/3 inch wider and that: In the afternoon of July 25. 2003. Laoag City. he was at his right hand from his pocket and he threw something backward. 2003. a and the letter request to the PNP Crime Laboratory. pp. as follows: ten (10) to twelve (12) meters. From a distance of about Rodolfo Bunnao. 2005. Valeriano Panem Laya II. Dominic Guerrero. Exhibit E (TSN. He asked the accused if he has license or permit to possess Ernesto Bal alighted x x x. they saw a male person that matched the description given coming from the house of the The defense presented in evidence the testimonies of accused Castro and one Valeriano family which is southwest of Iglesia Ni Cristo. February 15. he La Union. They were more or the house of Crispin Valeriano to ask for the payment of his debt. Joel conducted the investigation and charged him of possession of shabu. The request was signed by P/Supt. 2-7) him that somebody called them telling them that he went to the house of Crispin On cross examination. 2007. He knew the accused x x x. 3-6)[6] February 18. They brought the accused together with Ernesto Bal immediately searched his two (2) front pockets and x x x his back the plastic sachet to the police station and they delivered the plastic sachet with pockets but was not able to get anything. they noticed him removing CESAR CASTRO x x x testified that: In the afternoon of July 25. crystalline substance from Officer Ernesto Bal. 10-12) On cross examination he testified that: he weighed the . After the police officers ocular examination of the specimen. “I don’t know. Accused Cesar Castro did not answer. 11-24) The distance between the police Officer Mangapit went out from the right side of the car and went behind him. they placed him at the prison cell. 10-16) bodily searched him. he He did not see were PO Mangapit took the plastic sachet but the latter insisted that placed markings on the sachet of the crystalline substance. p. The policemen and waited for the result of the physical and ocular examination. p. “What is this?” (holding p. Camp Juan. They his Report. a close relative of him. Eliezer John Asuncion him to the Office of Mayor Roger Fariñas. pp. of [shabu]. result of the examination. He prepared a request he took it from the seat where he was seated. (TSN. Laoag City. accused of his constitutional rights. x x x On cross examination P/INSP. He voluntarily went with them x x x. where he resisted. Upon receipt of the did not prepare any document stating that they did not hurt him and nothing was lost. they brought him inside the car proceeding west. Bal told crystalline substance to the evidence custodian. testified that: As a Forensic Officer. August 24. He asked Ernest Bal why x x x. After he was searched he was invited by Officer Bal to the was more or less half-meter from the accused. 5) x x x He (the witness) did not mark the shabu. VALERIANO PANEM LAYA II. Officer Mangapit asked him. This was signed by P/Insp. PO1 Mangapit alighted and took hold of Valeriano has no money. (TSN. When station and the Iglesia Ni Cristo is more or less 200 meters. x x x [he stated that] x x x [o]n July 25. When they were at the Rizal Street. June 25. The weight was . he testified that addressed to Chief of Hospital of the Laoag City General Hospital for physical and Police Officers Bal and Mangapit were familiar to him x x x. evidence custodian of the Laoag City. he alighted from the car. they saw the male person place his right hand into his right side pocket.08 gram and was indicated in Cristo. He He took his lunch at the Modern Kitchenette after he borrowed cockfight money remembered having received a specimen for examination with respect to a case from Marcial Baracao east of the GSIS. pp. December 2. 2004. pp. After he was dressed-up. March 17. pp. Two (2) men alighted from the black car specimen was. This is contained in his Chemistry Report D-327-03. He also alighted. (TSN. [he stated that] x x x When he picked up the plastic sachet it Valeriano to buy shabu. he handed to the prosecutor the plastic sachet marked as Exhibit D). He claimed that the plastic is inside and SPO2 LORETO ANCHETA. he received one (1) plastic sachet containing longer. Modern Kitchenette is further west from the against Cesar Castro from Officer Loreto Ancheta (When he was asked where the most western fence of the Iglesia Ni Cristo.shirt and a brown maong pants had just bought a shabu at Brgy. He delivered the request and the specimen to Dr. Camp Juan. RODOLFO BUNNAO testified that: After eating at the kitchenette and went out. I near the Iglesia Ni specimen at San Fernando. (ibid. Because Crispin less four (4) meters away from the accused.” custodian who marked it. When they got near the male person. 16) While inside their office. Camp Brigidier General Oscar Florendo Parian. He was about to cross towards the other side of the thing which the accused threw. He brought the specimen saw Cesar Castro west of the Iglesia Ni Cristo standing when all of the sudden. he went home taking the southward direction to the national the accused. La Union. He knew for a fact x x The result of his examination was that the specimen was positive for the presence that there is another man inside the car whom he does not know x x x. (TSN. It was black car stopped and two (2) men alighted from the car. About one (1) minute after the search. 2003. On cross examination. 2006. The RTC also summarized them. The Chief of Police x x x dispatched them to verify the information. (TSN. x one is the driver and the other one from the passenger’s side. He heard PO1 Mangapit inform the police station to make a statement x x x. there was a cockfight in Laoag City x x x. he also holds office at the PNP Crime Laboratory. San Fernando. 3-14) laboratory examination addressed to the Regional Chief Chemist PNP Crime Laboratory Service. It was only the evidence something placed in a plastic) to which he answered. Ernesto Bal called for him and when he went near him shabu. they undressed him and examined thoroughly even the sleeves of his shirt as well as his pants. 29)[5] rode in an unmarked vehicle x x x. Upon receipt of the specimen. went to PO1 Mangapit who told him to pick-up the road west of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. 2004. went near Cesar Castro and received by P/Insp. He picked-up a plastic sachet which contained white road when a car suddenly stopped in front of him and a policeman in the person of crystalline substance. they brought Pagdilao. (ibid. pp. 2008.

By questioning the credibility of the until the moment he threw it away.000. has not police officers who are presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner. if there is a clear showing that the identity and integrity of the seized elements. In the instant appeal. but was denied. In net effect. chain would include testimony about every link in the chain or movements of the illegal drug. Considering that the weight of the substitution as well as to ensure that doubts regarding the identity of the evidence are methamphetamine hydrochloride is less than 5 grams. from the accused. exculpating factor. in its Decision of July 11. Citing the testimony of Police Officer 1 (PO1) Mangapit. following elements must be proved: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug. it being his contention that: (1) the crucial link in the chain of custody of appellant’s gratuitous denial. the prosecution was able aptly held that failure to literally comply with said requirements is not fatal to the to establish. and to its presentation in evidence in court. to the forensic laboratory for YEARS as maximum and a fine of THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS examination. standing alone. for the plastic sachet in question was initially in Castro’s pants pocket but which he tossed to the ground upon realizing that the ones about to accost In a prosecution involving illegal possession of prohibited/dangerous drugs. and Police Inspector The CA brushed aside Castro’s threshold defense line that he did not have. and object evidence. had actual and constructive drugs have not been compromised from the time of its seizure at the time and place possession of. when Laya II. It SO ORDERED. as the term is understood in drug-prosecution cases.[7] cannot be overemphasized. thru the testimony of their key witnesses––i. SPO2 Ancheta.On the main finding that the corpus delicti has been established by the open court narrations of the People’s witnesses and whose testimony bespoke of an The appeal is bereft of merit. integrity. the forensic officer––that what was seized from accused-appellant in the arrested. the prosecution was able corroborated by that of Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Bal. and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said Sec. the evidence custodian. the RTC. accused-appellant veritably says that he was a victim of frame-up.[14] Castro appealed to the CA. the custodial (P300.[12] This requirement is essential to obviate the possibility of beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged. the court stating in this regard afternoon of July 25.A.[10] the CA A circumspect review of the evidence extant on record shows that the chain of rendered judgment dismissing the appeal. 9165. and after weighing carefully the evidence by evidence to support a finding that the matter in question is what the proponent presented by the prosecution and the defense. had the intent to possess. the seized plastic sachet aforestated to its presentation in evidence as part of the corpus delicti. been broken.00) in accordance with Section 11 of R. an events. he is hereby sentenced to the removed through the monitoring and tracking of the movements and custody of the penalty of TWELVE (12) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY as minimum to TWENTY (20) seized prohibited item. As determined by both the trial and appellate courts. however. documentary. 21 of RA 9165[11] on inventory and photographing of the seized shabu. In fine. the CA also declared that to establish that the identity. as in the case at bar. What the Court said in People v. Accused-appellant denies having had possession of the prohibited drug in question. the Court finds the accused GUILTY clams it to be. in fine.e. found Castro guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged. one of the apprehending officers. accused-appellant Castro imputes error on the part of the appellate court respecting its conclusion about the corpus delicti having been The accounts of arresting officers PO1 Mangapit and SPO2 Bal belie accused- established.[13] Ideally. unbroken chain of custody. De Leon is instructive: .. the CA drug. from the moment of seizure until it is finally adduced in evidence. containing shabu. possession and custody of prohibited drug. 2008. and evidentiary value of the seized prohibited Castro. to the police. custody rule has been sufficiently observed. both police officers testifying without any trace of the alleged seized shabu had not been established. The fact that the plastic sachet containing shabu prosecution’s witnesses and the weight the courts a quo gave their narration of was already on the ground when the arrest was effected is not. and (2) accused-appellant’s hesitation that accused-appellant had the sachet containing the shabu in his pocket possession of the drug had remained unproved.[9] and Reply Brief of Accused-Appellant. the said prosecution. premises considered. The prosecution had proved with moral reconsideration. by his prior and contemporaneous acts.[15] As a matter of settled jurisprudence on illegal possession of drug shabu specimen have been preserved. the CA held cases. credence is usually accorded the narration of the incident by the apprehending that the chain of custody. that a testimony about a perfect chain is almost always impossible to obtain. Castro later moved for. certainty. through testimonial. Following the submission of the Appellant’s Brief. 2003 near a church building in Laoag City was the very same that illegal drug possession under the law includes both actual and constructive item presented in court after it was subjected to qualitative examination and was possessions. the chain of custody rule requires that the presentation and admission of the seized prohibited drug as an exhibit be preceded WHEREFORE. SPO2 Bal. disposing as follows: As a mode of authenticating evidence. the him were police officers. as tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride. or. (2) such possession is not Anent allegations of non-compliance by the police officers of the requirements under authorized by law.[8] the Appellee’s Brief.

When he fled. they witnessed in plain view WHEREFORE. having been furnished a description of credibility of the witnesses shall not be interfered with by this Court. Thereafter. presupposes that accused-appellant had prior possession of it. accused-appellant throwing to the ground a plastic sachet containing a white 2010 Decision and August 10.[18] accused-appellant from a tipster. In the absence of any evidence that the prosecution witnesses were motivated by motives less than proper. The very act of throwing away the sachet. accused-appellant’s allegation of frame-up or planting of evidence will containing the regulated drugs inside the bedroom in full view of PO1 Libuton. given the categorical testimonies of PO1 Mangapit and SPO2 Bal pursuing arresting officer. the contents of which were later accordingly. determined to be shabu. the not avail him any. substance. the trial court’s assessment of the In the instant case. 2010 Resolution in CA-G. which he was charged. the arresting officers. he carried then threw the envelope Finally. all the elements of the crime have been met. In People v. Costs against accused-appellant. Ergo.[17] the Court likewise ruled the admissibility of shabu which Herein appellant was caught red-handed in the act of committing the offenses for was thrown outside the window by the appellant in that case. SO ORDERED. the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.[16] investigation. CR No. 31793 are.R. Isnani. had a reason to suspect that petitioner is in possession of the prohibited substance. . There was therefore no need for a warrant to arrest and of the events leading to accused-appellant’s apprehension and eventual custodial search the person of appellant. He made the sale in the presence of the police operatives. The CA’s January 6. AFFIRMED IN TOTO. the poseur-buyer and the informant.