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Official Duty

People v. Cadidia
GR No. 191263
Oct 16, 2013

PEREZ, J.:

FACTS:
On July 31, 2002 at around 6:30 in the morning, Marilyn Trayvilla (Trayvilla), personnel of
the Philippine National Police, while performing her duties as a female frisker assigned at the Manila
Domestic Airport in Pasay City, frisked the accused Hadji Cadidia (Cadidia) upon her entry at the
departure area and noticed something unusual and thick in the buttocks area of the accused. Upon
inquiry, Cadidia answered it was only her sanitary napkin which caused the unusual thickness. Not
convinced with the explanation she and her co-employee, Leilani Bagsican (Bagsican) brought the
accused to the comfort room to check. When the authorities asked to remove her underwear, they
discovered two sachets of shabu. The accused denied the ownership of the said sachets of drugs,
and said she was only asked to bring the same.

Bagsican marked the 2 sachets (“LMB”) and surrendered it to SPO3 Musalli Appang
(Appang) who then marked the same with his initials at the PDEA office in NAIA. Appang then turned
it over to SP04 Rudy Villaceran (Villaceran). The drugs were then referred by PO2 Samuel Cobilla
(Cobilla) to the Forensic Chemist Elisa Reyes (Reyes) who examined the specimens which were
positive to be Shabu.

Dadidia was arraigned before the RTC of Pasay, and alleged the defense that she was
targeted by Trayvilla and Bagsican asking if she was muslim. They assumed she had gold or jewelry
and demanded for it. Seeing that she had none, they brought her to the confort room and aksed her
to undress and planted drugs on her. They demanded for P200k, but her Cadidia’s family failed to
provide hence the filing of the case.

The RTC found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 5 of R.A. 9165.

The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC and ruled that the alleged minor inconsistencies do not
diminish the credibility of the witnesses and the case.

ISSUE:
Whether Cadidia’s contention that the lower courts erred in the application in the
presumption of regularity in the performance of duties of the witnesses Trayvilla and Bagsican, due
to their self serving testimonies, is correct.

HELD:
No. In People v. Unisa,59 this Court held that "in cases involving violations of the Dangerous
Drugs Act, credence is given to prosecution witnesses who are police officers for they are presumed
to have performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there is evidence to the contrary
suggesting ill-motive on the part of the police officers."
In this case, the prosecution witnesses were unable to show ill-motive for the police to
impute the crime against Cadidia. Trayvilla was doing her regular duty as an airport frisker when she
handled the accused who entered the x-ray machine of the departure area. There was no pre-
determined notice to particularly search the accused especially in her private area. The unusual
thickness of the buttocks of the accused upon frisking prompted Trayvilla to notify her supervisor
SPO3 Appang of the incident. The subsequent search of the accused would only show that the two
female friskers were just doing their usual task when they found the illegal drugs inside accused’s
underwear. This is bolstered by the fact that the accused on the one hand and the two friskers on
the other were unfamiliar to each other. Neither could they harbour any ill-will against each other.
The allegation of frame-up and denial of the accused cannot prevail over the positive testimonies of
three prosecution witnesses who corroborated on circumstances surrounding the apprehension.