ArchivesNovember 2010Drug sale, possession gets woman two jail terms, man...

Drug sale, possession gets woman two jail terms, man gets 14 years

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A woman was meted the stiff penalty of life imprisonment for the illegal sale of 0.05 gram of shabu and another 14 years for illegal possession of the prohibited drug.{{more}}

Judge Rafael Crescencio Tan of the RTC Branch 30, the Special Court for Drug Cases, sentenced Erlinda Elentorio, a resident of barangay Looc, Dumaguete City, for violation of Sec. 5, Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

Court records established that Elentorio sold .05 gram of Shabu to poseur buyers in a buy bust operation conducted by NBI and PDEA agents on March 6, 2007 at Zone 4, Barangay Looc, Dumaguete City.

She was also found to be in possession of another plastic sachet containing .06 gram of shabu, for which she was meted an indeterminate penalty of 12 years and 1 day as minimum term to 14 years maximum in jail.

In his decision, Judge Tan said conviction is proper in prosecutions involving illegal sale of regulated or prohibited drugs if the following elements are present: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment thereto. “What is material is proof that the transaction actually took place, along with the presentation in court of the illegal substance which constitutes the corpus delicti of the crime,” he said.

Elentorio was also ordered to pay a total fine of P900,000.

In another judgment promulgated on the same day, a certain Arnel Flores, a resident of Zone 2, Barangay Looc, Dumaguete City, was sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of 12 years and 1 day as minimum term to 14 years maximum in jail for illegal possession of 0.01 gram of shabu.

Judge Tan noted that under the “plain view” doctrine, unlawful objects within the plain view of an officer who has the right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be presented in evidence. The police officers were justified in making the in flagrante delicto arrest of Flores.

“In their presence, Flores had actually committed an offense. To constitute a valid in flagrante delicto arrest under paragraph (a), Section 5, Rule 113, the following requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must commit an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence of or within the view of the arresting officer. These requisites have been satisfactorily complied with. In drug cases, an arrest made in flagrante delicto does not require that the arresting officers possess expert knowledge of the substance seized, or that they perform precise scientific tests to determine its exact nature.”

“The defense of Flores was predicated on bare denial, nothing more. Considering the testimonies and evidence of the prosecution, the denial of the accused failed. Denial is considered as an inherently weak defense, for it can easily be concocted and is a common standard line of defense in drug cases. Flores also failed to adduce clear and convincing evidence to overturn the presumption that the arresting officers regularly performed their duties. Flores failed to show by any satisfactory degree of proof that the police officers were impelled by ill-motives to testify again him. Stated otherwise, the presumption of innocence accorded the accused had been overturned by the evidence presented by the prosecution. The prosecution has convincingly proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime charged.”

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