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Abuan v.

GR No. 168773
27 October 2006
Crimes Against Public Interest
RA 9165 - Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002

Facts: (naka underline yung main events lang, the rest extra info na baka tanungin lang)
A certain Maria Gorospe testified to personal knowledge that Eliza Abuan was selling
methamphetamine hydrochloride, saying that she knew about the drugs as she used to work
with Abuan at Avon, and that she was also a resident of Barangay Sapang. She claims that one
day, Abuan invited her to a “jamming” and drinking session. But upon refusal from Gorospe,
since she had to go home, and her home was pretty far from where Abuan lived, Abuan then
suggested that they use meth instead. After that, whenever Gorospe visited, she observed that
Abuan placed meth inside plastic bags. She also saw weighing scales and paraphernalia used
in sniffing meth. And she also noted that several people, including teenagers would go to the
house of Abuan to purchase the drug.
The police managed to get a search warrant with the help of Gorospe. According to the police,
they went to Abuan with the Barangay Captain Mangaliag and Kagawad Garcia of Barangay
Lasip to witness the search. When they got there they presented the warrant to Abuan, she
agreed then to the search, wherein the police found 57 sachets of meth, one roll of aluminum
foil, and assorted luminous plastic sachets in her drawer beside her bed. Mangaliag and Garcia
then signed on the inventory/receipt and a certification of orderly search, which Abuan refused
to sign.
During trial, Abuan gave a different story. That she had no reason to be dealing with drugs, as
her parents and sister sends money to her from Canada. That the search was instigated by her
brother, Arsenio Tana, who was enraged when she refused his demand to entrust the properties
of the family to the care of his son. That she was with her two daughters, 21 and 9 years of age,
when the search happened. Four armed men barged into their house and declared a raid, with
eight to ten more outside her house. She claimed to ask for a search warrant but they did not
provide any. They search her house for 5-10 mins, turning up with nothing. Some went outside
and boarded a jeepney, came back and went into the bedroom and came out with “powder
placed in plastic”. After that, Mangaliag was brought to the scene and was shown the “powder
substance”, with Mangaliag then signing the inventory/receipt and the certification of orderly
search, which Abuan refused to sign. She also claims that Gorospe is not a real person, as
Barangay Captain Robert Calachan of Barangay Sapang testified that no such person exists in
his barangay. And Mercedes Carvajal, a team leader in Avon also testified that they never had
anyone by the name of Maria Gorospe in their branch.
The trial and appellate courts ruled that Abuan possessed 5.67 gm of meth and sentenced her
to an indeterminate penalty of 2 years, 4 months, and 1 day to 4 years and 2 months of prision
NO. Whether or not the sentence given to Abuan was correct.

The penalty imposed by the trial court and affirmed by the CA is incorrect. As the Court ruled
in People v. Tira:

Under Section 16, Article III of Rep. Act No. 6425, as amended, the imposable penalty of
possession of a regulated drug, less than 200 grams, in this case, shabu, is prision
correccional to reclusion perpetua. Based on the quantity of the regulated drug subject
of the offense, the imposable penalty shall be as follows:


Less than one (1) gram to prision correccional

49.25 grams

49.26 grams to 98.50 grams prision mayor

98.51 grams to 147.75 grams reclusion temporal

147.76 grams to 199 grams reclusion perpetua

Considering that the regulated drug found in the possession of the appellants is only
1.001 grams, the imposable penalty for the crime is prision correccional. Applying the
Indeterminate Sentence Law, the appellants are sentenced to suffer an indeterminate
penalty of from four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor in its medium period as
minimum, to three (3) years of prision correccional in its medium period as maximum, for
violation of Section 16 of Rep. Act No. 6425, as amended.

The penalty imposed in the Tira case is the correct penalty, which should likewise be imposed
against petitioner herein.