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PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs BRIAN MERCADO

G.R. No. 207988


Searches and Seizures
March 11, 2015

FACTS:
On July 27, 2007 the Station Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Unit (SAID-SOU) of PNP organized a
buy bust operation with PO3 Galvez as the poseur-buyer and two others as members. The 3 policemen
rode a passenger jeepney and proceeded to Camarin, Caloocan where based on a tip from an informant,
Galvez approached the Mercado and said “pre, pa-iskor naman.” offering to buy P200.00 of shabu.
Galvez handed the money marked with RG to Mercado who took out 2 packets of shabu from his pocket
and gave one to Galvez. After the sale was consummated, Galvez signaled his companions (by
scratching his nape) and introduced himself as a police officer. Mercado was arrested. The pack of shabu
that Galvez bought was marked by him and the ones they seized from Mercado’s pocket was marked by
the other police officer. They brought Mercado together with the confiscated items to the SAID-SOU
office in Samson Road, Caloocan and turned them over to the investigator, PO2 Hipolito who did the
corresponding paperworks and lab test request. (Medyo boring tong kaso na to kasi technicalities of
searches and seizures yung mga points na raised here so bear with me.)

The substance tested positive for shabu and a case was filed against Mercado for violation of RA 9165
Article II Sections 5 & 11. (I will include this provision after the ruling, don’t worry.)

Soooo! RTC charged him with the violation of RA 9165 Art.II Sec. 5 & 11 with 2 separate penalties. For
Crim. Case No. C-77992 (shabu bought in buy bust weighing 0.02 gram) Life Imprisonment and a fine of
P500K. For Crim. Case No. C-77993 (for the two other packets of shabu 0.02grams each) 12 years and 1
day to 14 years and a fine of P300K. The drugs were held confiscated and forfeited in favor of the
government to be dealt with accordingly.

Howeva! The suspect claimed that he was set up. According to him, On July 26, 2007 at 9:30-10:00 pm
he was driving his jeepney in Camarin Caloocan when a jeepney with police officers on board stopped in
front of him and forced him to ride the jeepney being driven by the police with 8 more persons in
handcuffs. He claimed that the police officers told him to produce P10K in exchange for his liberty,
otherwise, a case will be filed against him. So sinasabi niyang may extortion daw na naganap on his
appeal. Mema.

CA didn’t buy his bullshit (sorry, this guy is nakakainis) and affirmed the RTC ruling because the denial
of Mercado and his allegation of extortion were found to be unsubstantiated (big word, chos) by any
convincing and credible evidence. Hence, considered as negative, weak and self-serving. Mercado’s bare
denial cannot prevail over the positive testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses and the physical
evidence which supported the judgment conviction. Furthermore, CA ruled that failure to comply with
Sec.21 of RA 9165 (which I guess the defense brought up but walang info about this in the case, fuuu)
will not render the arrest illegal, nor will it result to the inadmissibility in evidence of the illegal drugs
seized in the course of the entrapment. Plus, the prosecution was able to sufficiently bear out the
statutory elements of the crime of illegal sale and illegal possession of such drugs.

Appeal was DENIED and RTC ruling was AFFIRMED.

So si Mercado raised the issue before the SC that CA and RTC erred in convicting him notwithstanding
the police operatives’ patent non-compliance with the strict and mandatory requirements of RA 9165

ISSUE
Whether or not the CA and RTC erred in convicting Mercado of selling and illegal possession of shabu?
HELD
No. They did not errrrrr. The judgment of conviction was sustained by SC. (I will shorten the points
raised by SC please bear with me dahil mahaba pa yung decision niya sa buong kaso)

Although the Court finds that the police officers did not strictly comply with the requirements of Sec.21
Art. II of RA 9165, such non-compliance did not affect the evidentiary weight of the drugs seized from
Mercado and the chain of custody of the evidence was shown to be unbroken under the circumstances of
this case.

CHAIN OF CUSTODY IN A BUY-BUST OPERATION:


1st - the seizure and marking of the illegal drug by the apprehending officer;
2nd - the turnover of the illegal drug by the apprehending officer to the investigating officer;
3rd - the turn over of the investigator of the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for lab examination;
4th - the turnover and submission of the marked illegal drug from the forensic chemist to the court.

On Sec. 5 Art. II of RA 9165 what is important is for the prosecution to provide proof that the
transaction or sale of shabu actually took place, plus the presentation in court of corpus delicti as
evidence--which was achieved by the prosecution clap clap!

On Sec. 11 Art. II RA 9165 - jurisprudence must pronounce repeatedly that the mere possession of a
prohibited drug constitutes prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi sufficient to convict
an accused in the absence of any satisfactory explanation--it was positively proven that Mercado was in
possession of shabu during the buy-bust.

In fine, considering the evidence presented by the prosecution, the denial and allegation of extortion of
the accused-appellant fails. In short, sabi ni SC hindi nila gusto when the accused concocts his denial and
negative allegation to suit his defense because it is nega and self-serving plus the witnesses presented by
the prosecution were credible and provided clear and positive evidence against Mercado.

The appeal is DENIED. CA decision dated September 26, 2012 is AFFIRMED in all respects.

SECTION 5 ARTICLE II RA 9165 ELEMENTS: (must be proven)


1. Identity of the buyer and seller, the object and consideration;
2. the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.
In other words, there is a need to establish beyond reasonable doubt that what the accused actually sold
and delivered was a prohibited drug and that the transaction actually took place.

SECTION 11 ARTICLE II RA 9165 ELEMENTS:


1. the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified as a prohibited or regulated drug;
2. such possession is not authorized by law;
3. the accused freely and consciously possessed the drug.