BUY-BUST OPERATION A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment, which in recent years has been accepted as valid

and effective mode of arresting violators of the Dangerous Drugs Law. It has been proven to be an effective way of unveiling the identities of drug dealers and of luring them out of obscurity. To determine whether there was a valid entrapment or whether proper procedures were undertaken in effecting the buy-bust operation, it is incumbent upon the courts to make sure that the details of the operation are clearly and adequately established through relevant, material and competent evidence. The courts cannot merely rely on, but must apply with studied restraint, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty by law enforcement agents. Courts are duty-bound to exercise extra vigilance in trying drug cases and should not allow themselves to be used as instruments of abuse and injustice lest innocent persons are made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. GARET SALCENA Y VICTORINO, G.R. No. 192261, 16 November 2011 A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which in recent years has been accepted as a valid means of arresting violators of the Dangerous Drugs Law. It is commonly employed by police officers as an effective way of apprehending law offenders in the act of committing a crime. In a buy-bust operation, the idea to commit a crime originates from the offender, without anybody inducing or prodding him to commit the offense. Its opposite is instigation or inducement, wherein the police or its agent lures the accused into committing the offense in order to prosecute him. Instigation is deemed contrary to public policy and considered an absolutory cause. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. NENITA LEGASPI Y LUCAS, G.R. No. 173485, 23 November 2011 A buy-bust operation is far variant from an ordinary arrest; it is a form of entrapment which has repeatedly been accepted to be a valid means of arresting violators of the Dangerous Drugs Law. In a buy-bust operation, the violator is caught in flagrante delicto and the police officers conducting the operation are not only authorized, but duty-bound, to apprehend the violator and to search him for anything that may have been part of or used in the commission of the crime. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. GREGG C. BUENAVENTURA, G.R. No. 184807, 23 November 2011

CHAIN OF CUSTODY

and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof: Provided. 9165 is not fatal and will not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. in case of warrantless seizures. G. that noncompliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds. immediately after seizure and confiscation.Owing to the built-in dangers of abuse that a buy-bust operation entails. this Court has consistently ruled that non-compliance with the requirements of Section 21 of R. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items. EDWIN ULAT y AGUINALDO @ PUDONG. 5 October 2011 Non-compliance with Section 21. further. Provided.A. No. i. 9165 will not necessarily render the items seized or confiscated in a buy-bust operation inadmissible. Strict compliance with the letter of Section 21 is not required if there is a clear showing that the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items have been preserved. physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized. or his/her representative or counsel. 193185. the items being offered . as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. independently of the general procedures geared to ensure that the rights of people under criminal investigation and of the accused facing a criminal charge are safeguarded. as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team. Article II of Republic Act No. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. In this regard. and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof.R. the law prescribes specific procedures on the seizure and custody of drugs. that the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search warrant is served. paragraph 1. 9165 states: 1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall. immediately after seizure and confiscation. Section 21. RICARDO MONDEJAR y BOCARILI. Furthermore. physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized. Section 21(a). No. whichever is practicable. Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. 9165 expounds on the aforementioned provision of law: (a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall. shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. G.. 180504.e. or his/her representative or counsel. or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team.R. a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ). 12 October 2011 Anyway. Article II of Republic Act No. No. a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

lapses in procedure "must be recognized and explained in terms of their justifiable grounds and the integrity and evidentiary value of the evidence seized must be shown to have been preserved. ROBERTO MARTIN Y CASTANO. The same standard likewise obtains in case the evidence is susceptible to alteration. 181861." Otherwise. once the possibility of substitution has been negated by evidence of an unbroken and cohesive chain of custody over the contraband. No. or when a witness has failed to observe its uniqueness. G. 193234. the exhibit's level of susceptibility to fungibility. 19 October 2011 While a testimony about a perfect chain is not always the standard because it is almost always impossible to obtain. without a specter of doubt. the risk of tampering. an unbroken chain of custody becomes indispensable and essential when the item of real evidence is not distinctive and is not readily identifiable. ROBERTO MARTIN Y CASTANO. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 19 October 2011 ." nevertheless. 9165 is not necessarily fatal to the prosecution's case because the last sentence of the implementing rules provides that "non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds. 19 October 2011 A unique characteristic of narcotic substances is that they are not readily identifiable as in fact they are subject to scientific analysis to determine their composition and nature. shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. 193234. ROBERTO MARTIN Y CASTANO. G. RAUL DAVID vs.A. tampering. No. G. Hence. No. alteration or tampering — without regard to whether the same is advertent or otherwise not — dictates the level of strictness in the application of the chain of custody rule. 193234. No. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. loss or mistake with respect to an exhibit of this nature is greatest when the exhibit is small and is one that has physical characteristics fungible in nature and similar in form to substances familiar to people in their daily lives. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. 17 October 2011 While noncompliance with the procedure laid out in Section 21 of R. In other words.R. No. 9165. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team.R. or when its condition at the time of testing or trial is critical. Hence. contamination and even substitution and exchange.R.R. such contraband may be admitted and stand as proof of the corpus delicti notwithstanding the fact that it was never made the subject of an inventory or was photographed pursuant to Section 21 (1) of Republic Act No. the very same ones recovered in the buy-bust operation. the procedure set out in the law will be mere lip service.in court as exhibits are. G.

No. 9165 is not necessarily fatal to a prosecution’s case. No. shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. that at any of the links in the chain of custody over a narcotic specimen there could have been tampering. and can liberally be viewed if the attainment of these objectives is not in doubt. an unbroken chain becomes indispensable and essential in the prosecution of drug cases owing to its susceptibility to alteration. No." Thus. ASMAD BARA y ASMAD G. as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team.A.R. The procedures are there to ensure the integrity and evidentiary value of seized items.R.The Court cannot reluctantly close its eyes to the likelihood. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. GARET SALCENA Y VICTORINO. a more exacting standard that entails a chain of custody of the item with sufficient completeness if only to render it improbable that the original item has either been exchanged with another or been contaminated or tampered with. from the time the shabu was retrieved during the buy-bust operation to its submission to the forensic chemist until its presentation before the RTC. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized . in authenticating the same. this will not render the arrest illegal or the items seized from him as inadmissible in evidence. 193234. contamination and even substitution and exchange. 9165. each and every link in the custody must be accounted for. 184808.” Simply put. 16 November 2011 Ideally. 14 November 2011 While a perfect chain of custody is almost always impossible to achieve. ROBERTO MARTIN Y CASTANO. mere lapses in procedures need not invalidate a seizure if the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items can be shown to have been properly preserved and safeguarded. No. Accordingly. tampering. or at least the possibility. the procedure on the chain of custody should be perfect and unbroken. a standard more stringent than that applied to cases involving objects which are readily identifiable must be applied. G. 192261. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. Hence. G. Article 11 of R.R. even though the prosecution failed to submit in evidence the physical inventory and photograph of the seized drugs as required under Section 21 of Republic Act No. 19 October 2011 Non-compliance by the police with the directive of Section 21. in light of the last sentence of its implementing rules expressly stating that “non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds. However "a testimony about a perfect chain is not always the standard as it is almost always impossible to obtain an unbroken chain. alteration or substitution of substances from other cases — by accident or otherwise — in which similar evidence was seized or in which similar evidence was submitted for laboratory testing.

G. a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ). 9165. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. 14 December 2011 The Court is aware of the stringent requirements laid down in Section 21. 186530. RAUL DAVID vs. G. which differentiated regulated drugs from prohibited drugs. 14 December 2011 DANGEROUS DRUGS Before the enactment of R. No. 6425.R.R. after seizure and confiscation. No." PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. 17 October 2011 ENTRAPMENT AND INSTIGATION Entrapment is sanctioned by the law as a legitimate method of apprehending criminals. 9165 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) are not inflexible. involves the inducement of the would-be . No. The requirements under R. 186131. Its purpose is to trap and capture lawbreakers in the execution of their criminal plan. G. on the other hand. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.A. No.A. because the same will be utilized in ascertaining the guilt or innocence of the accused. physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized. BENJAMIN AMANSEC y DONA. and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof.A. It laid down different provisions for possession of regulated and prohibited drugs. or his/her representative or counsel. the rule is that it does not render an accused’s arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him/[her] inadmissible. NELLY ULAMA y ARRISMA." PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. No. Instigation.A. What is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items.items. immediately. 9165. G. Under R.R.R. as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. 14 December 2011 On the issue of non-compliance with the prescribed procedures in the inventory of seized drugs. the governing law on dangerous drugs was R. paragraph 1 of Republic Act No. 186530. NELLY ULAMA y ARRISMA. the distinction between regulated and prohibited drugs has been removed and both are now classified as dangerous drugs. 9165 which states that: 1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall. However. 181861. minor deviations from the foregoing procedure would not necessarily result in an acquittal.

the prosecution must be able to successfully prove the following elements: "(1) identities of the buyer and seller. of the subject firearm." Similarly. 181861. it must be shown that (a) the accused was in possession of an item or an object identified to be a prohibited or regulated drug. it would only be a matter of course to determine whether the accused has a license to possess the firearm. 17 October 2011 ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARMS In crimes involving illegal possession of firearm.R.: (a) the existence of the subject firearm and (b) the fact that the accused who owned or possessed it does not have the license or permit to possess the same. Possession of any firearm becomes unlawful only if the necessary permit or license therefor is not first obtained. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. G. After possession is established by the prosecution. the instigators become coprincipals themselves. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. viz. it is essential that the transaction or sale be proved to have actually . and (c) the accused was freely and consciously aware of being in possession of the drug.R. The absence of license and legal authority constitutes an essential ingredient of the offense of illegal possession of firearm and every ingredient or essential element of an offense must be shown by the prosecution by proof beyond reasonable doubt. whether actual or constructive. ARNOLD T.accused into the commission of the offense. It has become common practice for law enforcement officers and agents to engage in buy-bust operations and other entrapment procedures in apprehending drug offenders. 11 October 2011 ILLEGAL SALE OF DRUGS In the crime of sale of dangerous drugs. the object. 23 November 2011 ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF DANGEROUS DRUGS For a prosecution for illegal possession of a dangerous drug to prosper. without which there can be no conviction for illegal possession. The essence of the crime of illegal possession is the possession. and the consideration. (b) such possession is not authorized by law. No.R. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RAUL DAVID vs. the prosecution has the burden of proving the elements thereof. 173485. AGCANAS. 174476. In such a case. The distinction between entrapment and instigation has proven to be very relevant in anti-narcotics operations. G. No. No. NENITA LEGASPI Y LUCAS. G.

173485. 9165. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. the following defenses cannot be set up: (1) that facilities for the commission of the crime were intentionally placed in his way. coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti. coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti of evidence. 14 November 2011 Jurisprudence has firmly entrenched that in the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs.taken place coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of corpus delicti which means the "actual commission by someone of the particular crime charged. and the consideration. No. NENITA LEGASPI Y LUCAS. is the proof that the transaction or sale transpired. 23 November 2011 . the following elements must be proven: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller. 19 October 2011 In a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs. Article II of R. GARET SALCENA Y VICTORINO. therefore.R. What is material. the following elements must be duly established: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller.R." PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. and (3) that the buyer and seller were identified. the following essential elements must be proven: (1) that the transaction or sale took place. No. coupled with the presentation in court of the confiscated prohibited or regulated drug as evidence. or (2) that the criminal act was done at the solicitation of the decoy or poseur-buyer seeking to expose his criminal act. G. G. ASMAD BARA y ASMAD G. No. Implicit in all these is the need for proof that the transaction or sale actually took place. the object of the sale and the consideration. (2) the corpus delicti or the illicit drug was presented as evidence. G. EDWIN ULAT y AGUINALDO @ PUDONG. ARNEL ZAPATA y CANILAO. 184054.A. The delivery of the illicit drug to the poseur-buyer and the receipt by the seller of the marked money successfully consummate the buy-bust transaction.R. or (3) that police authorities feigning complicity in the act were present and apparently assisted in its commission. 184808. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. No. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.R. 180504. G. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. What is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place. the object. No. 192261. No.R. 5 October 2011 For a successful prosecution of offenses involving the illegal sale of drugs under Section 5. 16 November 2011 It is an established rule that when an accused is charged with the sale of illicit drugs.

and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.R. GREGG C. the object. NENITA LEGASPI Y LUCAS. 173485. No.M. V.R. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.A. 186131. What is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. No. the object. try and decide drug cases. In prosecutions for illegal sale of shabu. object. and the consideration. the object. and the consideration. G. What is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place. BENJAMIN AMANSEC y DONA. NELLY ULAMA y ARRISMA.R. in cases of inhibition or disqualification. The presence of all of these elements in the instant case has been duly established. G. and consideration. No. Sec. what is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place. coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of corpus delicti. G. 03-8-02-SC vis-à-vis Sec. the executive judge is mandated to assign the drug case to a regular court in the following order: first. . PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. It was precisely in the exercise of this discretionary power that the powers of the executive judge were included in Chap." PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. G. 5(5) of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of corpus delicti.Only two elements are to be proven for the prosecution of illegal sale of regulated or prohibited drugs: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller.R. 23 November 2011 The successful prosecution of the sale of dangerous drugs case depends on the satisfaction of the following elements: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller. 14 December 2011 JURISDICTION OF COURTS Under R. coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti as evidence. 9165. Thus. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. and consideration. the following elements must be proven: (1) the identity of the buyer and seller. 23 November 2011 For the successful prosecution of the offense of illegal sale of dangerous drugs under the aforequoted statutory provision. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. Congress empowered this Court with the full discretion to designate special courts to hear. 186530. 9 of A. 184807. No. No. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. 14 December 2011 The elements necessary for the prosecution of illegal sale of drugs are (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller. BUENAVENTURA.

Being a "designated special court. ipso facto. 12 October 2011 NECESSITY OF PRIOR SURVEILLANCE The conduct of surveillance prior to a buy-bust operation is not required especially when the police officers are accompanied to the scene by their civilian informant." it is likewise bound to follow the relevant rules in trying and deciding the drug case pursuant to R. Nos. this Court designated the regular court. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. the police may dispense with the need for prior surveillance. 173485.R. must be the subject of strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit an . BENJAMIN AMANSEC y DONA. No. there being no fixed or textbook method for conducting one. Under these exceptional circumstances. JOSE D. as a special court – but only for that case.to the pairing judge of the special court where the case was originally assigned. the offer for purchase. if the pairing judge is likewise disqualified or has inhibited himself. whether to the informant alone or the police officer. G. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. the promise or payment of the consideration until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of the illegal drug subject of the sale. then to another regular court through a raffle.R. 187117 and 187127. 186131. whether or not through an informant. AZARRAGA and JOHN REY PREVENDIDO. 9165. G. 23 November 2011 There is no requirement that prior surveillance should be conducted before a buy-bust operation can be undertaken especially when. This must start from the initial contact between the poseur-buyer and the pusher. Flexibility is a trait of good police work. NENITA LEGASPI Y LUCAS. The manner by which the initial contact was made. We have held that when time is of [the] essence. the payment of the “buy-bust” money. second. the offer to purchase the drug.A. Prior surveillance is not a prerequisite for the validity of an entrapment or a buy-bust operation. and the need for prior surveillance may be dispensed with when time is of the essence. No. and the delivery of the illegal drug. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. HON. as in this case. 14 December 2011 OBJECTIVE TEST We therefore stress that the “objective” test in buy-bust operation demands that the details of the purported transaction must be clearly and adequately shown. G.R. This is so because there is no rigid or textbook method in conducting buybust operations. and. the policemen are accompanied to the scene by their civilian informant.

No.R. Informants are almost always never presented in court because of the need to preserve their invaluable service to the police. HADJA JARMA LALLI y PURIH.offense. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. 186131. G. 195419. BENJAMIN AMANSEC y DONA." The informant’s testimony is not needed if the sale of the illegal drug has been adequately proven by the prosecution. 23 November 2011 The presentation of an informant in an illegal drugs case is not essential for the conviction nor is it indispensable for a successful prosecution because his testimony would be merely corroborative and cumulative. Trafficking in Persons under Sections 3(a) and 4 of RA 9208 is not only limited to transportation of victims. NENITA LEGASPI Y LUCAS. No. 12 October 2011 . 16 November 2011 PRESENTATION OF INFORMANT IN DRUGS CASES The presentation of an informant is not a requisite for the successful prosecution of drug cases. and NESTOR RELAMPAGOS (at large). PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs.R. No. G. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. 192261. 173485. GARET SALCENA Y VICTORINO. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. but also includes the act of recruitment of victims for trafficking.R. 14 December 2011 TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS The crime of Trafficking in Persons can exist even with the victim’s consent or knowledge under Section 3(a) of RA 9208. G. G. RONNIE ARINGOY y MASION.R. No.