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Enlightened jurisprudence is consistent as to the elements that the prosecution needs to prove
beyond reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction for illegal sale of dangerous drugs under
Sec. 5,40 Art. II ofR.A. ~9165, viz (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale
and its consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. 42 What is
important is that the sale transaction of drugs actually took place and that the object of the
transaction is properly presented as evidence in court and is shown to be the same drugs seized
from the accused


For illegal possession of dangerous drugs under Sec. 11,44 the following elements must be
established: (I) the accused was in possession of dangerous drugs; (2) such possession was not
authorized by law; and (3) the accused was freely and consciously aware of being in possession
of dangerous drugs.


The corpus delicti in cases involving dangerous drugs is the presentation of the dangerous drug
itself.46 "For both offenses, it is crucial that the prosecution establishes the identity of the seized
dangerous drugs in a way that their integrity is well preserved - from the time of seizure or
confiscation from the accused until the time of presentation as evidence in court. The fact that
the substance said to have been illegally sold or possessed was the very same substance offered in
court as exhibit must be established."47 The chain of custody rule performs this function as it
ensures that unnecessary doubts concerning the identity of the evidence are removed.


Chain of Custody means the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of seized drugs or
controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory equipment of each stage,
from the time of seizure/ confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to
presentation in court for destruction. Such record of movements and custody of seized item shall
include the identity and signature of the person who held temporary custody of the seized item,
the date and time when such transfer of custody were made in the course of safekeeping and use
in court as evidence, and the final disposition.

Thus, as a general rule, the four links in the chain of custody of the confiscated item must be
established: first, the seizure and marking, if practicable, of the illegal drug recovered from the
accused by the apprehending officer; second, the turnover of the illegal drug seized by the
apprehending officer to the investigating officer; third, the turnover by the investigating officer of
the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for laboratory examination; and fourth, the turnover and
submission of the marked illegal drug seized from the forensic chemist to the court. 51 The
prosecution has the burden of proving each of the link from the moment of seizure up to its
presentation in court as evidence of the corpus delicti.


It must be underscored that the IRR55 of R.A. No. 9165 mirrors the content of Sec. 21, Art. II of
the same law, but adds that the said inventory and photography may be conducted at the nearest
police station or office of the apprehending team in instances of warrantless seizure, and that
noncompliance with the requirements of Sec. 21, Art. II - under justifiable grounds - will not
render void and invalid the seizure and custody over the seized items so long as the integrity and
evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer or team.
56 Any departure from the prescribed procedure must then still be reasonably justified, and must
further be shown not to have affected the integrity and evidentiary value of the confiscated