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Case Digests: Medico-legal Aspect of Drugs 9. Josefina saw the open bag of appellant, which contained 4.

t, which contained 4. Precila did not give any statement due to her weak condition
empty capsules of dalmane and empty vials of valium. She but it cannot be denied that she was instead physically
inquired on the need of the injection and appellant replied examined. Suffice it to say, the Medico Legal Report
People v. Farhad Hatani
that a second shot of plain distilled water was required to indicates swellings and lacerations and concludes that
G.R. No. 78813-14, November 8, 1993
cure Wilma of her drug addiction. Josefina told appellant to Precila was no longer a virgin.
stop but he persisted. Only upon threat that she would call 5. Although the records fail to show any sworn statement by
Facts: the police did appellant stop. Appellant and his wife then Precila, such is not fatal where the sworn affidavits of her
left the Borja residence. mother, her two sisters and the medico-legal report are
1. In the morning of July 6, 1979, Agustina Borja visited her 10. The following day, Agustina and Josefina brought Precila and sufficient to show probable cause of rape
camadre, Maura Fontreras, and requested malunggay leaves Wilma to the Philippine Constabulary Headquarters at Camp 6. Precila was either dizzy or unconscious at the time she was
as medication for her 16-year old daughter Precila, who had Crame, Quezon City, where Josefina and Wilma gave their sexually abused. We find her testimony consistent and
high fever and LBM statements (Exhs. "D" and "F"). Precila was physically credible. While her testimony is limited to the times when
2. Upon learning that Precila was sick, Marita, Maura's examined by a doctor, whose medical report stated that she would gain her consciousness, it is not unlikely that such
daughter, introduced Agustina to her husband, appellant Precila's hymen and "deep, healing lacerations" and that traumatic incidents would still be engraved on her mind
herein, whom she said was a medical doctor. Marita "subject is in non-virgin state physically" (Exh. A). Several even four years after.
suggested that her husband treat Precila and Agustina needle puncture marks were also found on Precila's arms 7. Appellant's assertion that Precila failed to inform her family
agreed and buttocks. A physical examination was likewise done on of his misdeeds is explainable. As correctly pointed out by
3. Appellant and Marita went to the Borja residence, where he Wilma, which showed that she too had a needle puncture, the Solicitor General, Precila was still dizzy and incoherent as
examined Precila. He gave her tablets to take and as shown in the Medico-Legal Report (Exh. "L"). a consequence of the injections administered by appellant.
administered two injections (to her), one in the morning and 11. Acting on the complaint filed before the Constabulary Anti- In fact, when Precila was physically examined by the doctor
the second at noon. After each injection, Precila would feel Narcotics Unit (CANU), a surveillance of appellant's the day after, she was still sleepy and groggy
dizzy and fall asleep. residence was conducted. Subsequently, a search warrant 8. Appellant also finds it strange that considering the acts
4. It was appellant's diagnosis that Precila was a drug addict was secured from Judge Jose P. Castro of the Court of First allegedly committed by him against Precila, the medico-legal
and required further observation and treatment. Appellant Instance of Quezon City. Armed with the warrant, CANU report fails to specify any injuries on the body of Precila.
offered to attend to Precila at his house and again, Agustina agents raided appellant's residence on July 15, 1979. Appellant need not inflict heavy blows on Precila for the
agreed in the belief that her daughter was a drug addict. 12. Assorted drugs, such as dalmane, valium and mogadon, as simple reason that she was under sedation. The absence of
5. In the evening of the same day, Precila was fetched by well as prescription pads in the name of Dr. Jesus Yap and the injuries does not negate the commission of rape, for
appellant and Marita and was brought to appellant's house. other medical instruments, such as a "thermometer, a rape may be committed after rendering a woman
Again, Precila was given an injection which caused her to "hygomonometer (sic), stethoscope, syringes and needles, unconscious
sleep. When she awoke, she realized that she was naked and were seized. 9. Appellant alleges that Precila was no longer a virgin on that
her entire body was in pain. Appellant was seated on the 13. The Handwriting Identification Report on the prescription fateful day and that her bleeding was actually the start of
bed and was fondling her private parts. Shocked, Precila slips showed that these were written by the appellant her menstrual cycle. It is settled jurisprudence that virginity
called for her mother and tried to get up. Appellant, himself. The report on the chemistry examination of the is not an essential element of rape. To claim that Precila's
however, punched her on the chest and forced her to lie seized tablets and capsules confirmed the presence of menstrual cycle began on that day is highly speculative.
down. He pressed a pillow on her face and injected her mogadon, dalmane and valium. 10. Appellant claims that the sworn statements of the Borjas
again, causing her to fall asleep. 14. After the preliminary investigation, separate informations were antedated and were prepared after the illegal search
6. When Precila awoke the second time, she found appellant in for (1) rape and violation of R.A. No. 2382 were filed. was conducted in his residence. He also cites some
bed with her. He was naked and fondling her private parts. Appellant pleaded not guilty to both crimes. inconsistencies in said statements. We find the claim to be
The pain all over her body lingered. When Precila touched 15. The RTC convicted the appellant of both crimes devoid of merit. It is only now on appeal that appellant
her private parts, she saw blood stains on her hand. She 16. Hence, this appeal. disputes the execution of these affidavits. When they were
tried to stand up but she was too weak. Appellant gave her presented and offered as evidence, appellant failed to raise
another injection rendering her unconscious. Issue: WON appellant is guilty of both crimes such objections and to refute them.
7. The following morning, Agustina went to fetch Precila. Upon 11. The alleged inconsistencies in the testimony of the
reaching the Fontreras' residence, she went straight to the Held: prosecution witnesses merely refer to minor details, which
bedroom, where, to her great dismay, she found Precila and cannot destroy their credibility. This is also true where
appellant both asleep and naked. She hurriedly dressed up 1. In his first assignment of error, appellant questions the statements made while on the witness stand are claimed to
Precila and brought her home credibility of the prosecution witnesses. be inconsistent with the affidavit, which are generally
8. That evening, Precila's oldest sister, Josefina, a nurse by 2. Appellant faults complainant for recounting her ordeal only incomplete
profession, came home and saw Precila looking very weak. after four years when she took the witness stand. This 12. With regard to the second assignment of error, appellant
Her mother, who was crying narrated what she had argument is misleading. insists that his conviction arose from insufficient evidence
witnessed that morning. She also told Josefina that 3. The record shows that the day after the rape, Josefina and and his failure to prove his innocence.
appellant was in the other bedroom, treating another sister, Wilma Borja, accompanied by their mother, Agustina, issued 13. Indeed, the circumstantial evidence established at the trial
Wilma whom he also diagnosed as a drug addict. Josefina their statements at Camp Crame. Agustina gave her are more than sufficient to prove the guilt of appellant.
immediately proceeded to the bedroom and saw appellant statement twice on separate days. 14. The Medico-Legal Report on Precila, taken within 48 hours
about to inject Wilma. from the commission of rape confirmed that her hymen had
"deep, healing lacerations at 4, 6 and 9 o'clock position" and we are satisfied that indeed a lawful search warrant was 2. After interviewing the informant, Police Senior Inspector
Precila was "in non-virgin state physically". Furthermore, the obtained. Myles Pascual (PSI Pascual) decided to conduct a buy-bust
report confirms that Precila had at least six needle puncture 24. Besides, the judge who granted the search warrant was the operation to entrap the accused.
marks and swellings, which confirm that appellant had same judge who initially heard both criminal cases. It can 3. PSI Pascual made arrangements for the informant, the
injected her several times. therefore be presumed, that the search was made with a accused, and the poseur buyer officer to meet on April 14,
15. On the two occasions that Precila woke up, she positively search warrant and absent of any showing that it was 2005 around 2:30 o’clock in the afternoon at the stairs
stated that appellant was with her on the bed and that they procured maliciously, the items seized are admissible in below the Cresencia Barangay Hall along Bokawkan Road.
were both naked. She also tried to free herself on both evidence. 4. He planned for an entrapment operation and put together a
attempts from accused, but, he made her unconscious 25. The evidence is overwhelming that appellant actually team, with SPO4 Sison, as team leader; Police Officer 3 Ricky
through injections. This is corroborated by the testimony of treated and diagnosed Precila and Wilma Borja. The positive Calamiong (PO3 Calamiong) and PO3 Roy Mateo (PO3
Agustina, who saw her daughter and accused together testimony of Agustina, Precila, Wilma and Josefina Borja; the Mateo), as back-up officers; and Police Officer 2 Edgar
naked on bed. This unbroken chain of events leads one to a medico-legal reports which attest to the needle marks; the Antolin (PO2 Antolin), as the poseur buyer.
fair and reasonable conclusion that accused actually raped Handwriting Identification Report showing assorted drugs 5. In coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement
Precila. and medical equipment in appellant's room; and the Agency (PDEA), the entrapment team proceeded to the area
16. As held in People v. Yambao, supra, credence is given to the chemistry reports prove that appellant was engaged in the at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon, half an hour before the
findings of the trial court where the rape victim's testimony practice of medicine. And as to his allegation that there was scheduled time. The team parked their vehicle 20 to 30
is buttressed by the corroborative testimony of the mother no proof of payment, the law specifically punishes said act meters away from the designated transaction area. PO2
and the medico-legal report, as well as the report of the whether or not done for a fee. Antolin and the informant alighted and proceeded to the
police investigator. 26. Appellant claims that Precila admitted in her cross- stairway to wait for the accused.
17. It must also be borne in mind that at the time of the examination that she was in school the whole day of July 6, 6. Twenty minutes later, the accused arrived and approached
commission of the crime, Precila was just sixteen years old. 1979 and it was therefore impossible for him to have the informant. The latter introduced PO2 Antolin as the
No young lady at the prime of her youth would concoct a treated and diagnosed her on that date. An accurate reading buyer. After the accused asked if the buyer had the money,
story of defloration, allow an examination of her intimate of the transcript, however, will show that Precila's testimony PO2 Antolin handed over P1,000.00. The accused then gave
parts and later bare herself to the disgrace brought to her was in response to a question regarding her school schedule him two (2) sachets containing white crystalline substance.
honor in a public trial unless she was motivated solely by a for that day. PO2 Antolin raised his right hand, the pre-arranged signal,
desire to have the culprit apprehended and brought to 27. Finally, appellant claims that the ponente of both decisions signifying to the other team members that the transaction
justice. was not the trial judge, ergo said judge was thus deprived of had been consummated. The team rushed to assist PO2
18. Appellant claims that his right to be presumed innocent was the opportunity to assess the credibility of the prosecution Antolin, who arrested the accused and recovered the buy-
violated. He cites the trial court's decision holding that it. — witnesses. bust-money. PO2 Antolin frisked the accused and recovered
28. Admittedly, the ponente's participation was limited to the five (5) more small transparent sachets with white
. . . finds that with these circumstantial evidences (sic) pieced resolution of the cases. The fact that the judge who heard crystalline substance from the pants pocket of the accused.
together the prosecution has proved the crime of rape, and the the evidence is not the one who rendered the judgment, He turned over the same to the team leader, SPO4 Sison.
burden shifted on the defense to show the contrary and for that reason the latter did not have the opportunity 7. SPO4 Sison informed the accused in Tagalog the reason why
to observe the demeanor of the witnesses during the trial he was being arrested and apprised him of his constitutional
19. Appellant was afforded a fair trial and in fact he availed of but merely relied on the records of the case, does not rights. The accused merely nodded but otherwise kept
surrebuttal evidence. The statement of the trial court, as render the judgment erroneous especially where the silent. The buy-bust team then took the accused to the
correctly argued by the Solicitor General, implies that the evidence on record is sufficient to support its conclusion. BCPO, where PO2 Antolin identified him as Juan Mendoza,
circumstantial evidence is sufficient to support appellant's 29. WHEREFORE, the judgments appealed from are AFFIRMED alias "Ampi."
conviction unless the defense is able to provide evidence to in toto. 8. In a preliminary test, the white crystalline substance
the contrary. recovered from the accused tested positive for the presence
20. With respect to his conviction of illegal practice of medicine, People v. Juan Mendoza of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or shabu, a dangerous
appellant presented inconsistent claims. On one hand, he G.R. No. 186387, August 31, 2011 drug. The case records state that after the conduct of such
claims that the drugs and other paraphernalia were planted J. Mendoza preliminary test, the items confiscated from the accused
by the raiding team; while on the other hand, he claims that were turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP)
these were seized without any warrant. Facts: Crime Laboratory Service at Camp Bado Dangwa, La
21. If indeed the evidence were all planted, how can appellant Trinidad, Benguet for further analysis and disposition.
explain his handwriting on the prescription pads in the Prosecution Version 9. A confirmatory test conducted on the same day by Police
name of Dr. Jesus Yap? Inspector and Forensic Chemical Officer Cecile Akiangan
22. A perusal of the photographs showing accused during the 1. SPO4 Edelfonso Sison received information from an Bullong yielded the same result.
raid, fails to indicate any protestation by him. In fact, the informant of the Baguio City Police Office-Drug Enforcement
other photographs do not bear any sign of disorder, in Section (BCPO-DES) that the accused contacted him and Version of the Accused
contrast to appellant's testimony that his room was made offered to sell shabu worth P1,000 to any interested buyer.
into a mess during the raid. The accused then suggested that they meet at the stairs of 10. According the accused, he was questioned by a SPO4 Sison
23. The records fail to disclose a copy of a search warrant. the Cresencia Brgy. Hall along Bokawkan Road. on the identity of a certain Gary Chua which he had no
However, the prosecution was able to present its return and knowledge.
11. He was then invited to the BCPO and was subjected to a investigating officer; third, the turnover by the investigating 16. From the foregoing circumstances, it is unmistakable that
drug test. officer of the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for there is no break in the chain of custody of the seized
12. Again, unable to refuse, he was subjected to a drug test at laboratory examination; and fourth, the turnover and dangerous drugs from the time that it came to the
the BCPO Station 7 laboratory, in front of the DES. He was submission of the marked illegal drug seized from the possession of PO2 Antolin to the point when such items
then brought to the Baguio General Hospital (BGH) for a forensic chemist to the court. were presented and identified during trial. Clearly, there is
medical examination, and later back to the police station. 9. Regarding the turnover by the investigating officer of the no doubt that the integrity and evidentiary value of the
13. During the interrogation at the police office, he did not have illegal drug to the forensic chemist for laboratory seized dangerous drug were properly preserved, in
a counsel present.7 SPO4 Sison did not inform him that he examination, the parties admitted the following facts during compliance with what the law requires.
was being arrested for the possession of the 5 heat-sealed pre-trial: 17. Wherefore, the decision of the CA is AFFIRMED
plastic sachets containing shabu.
14. The RTC found the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt a. The fact that the forensic chemist examined the drugs and People v. John Brian Amarillo (Jao Mapa)
15. On appeal, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC prepared the report thereon but qualified that it did not G.R. No. 194721, August 15, 2012
come from the accused; J. Perez
Issue: b. Medico-legal Report;
c. The witnesses to the inventory witnessed the inventory Facts:
(1) WON the procedures for the custody and disposition of taking, signed the inventory but they have no knowledge
confiscated dangerous drugs in Sec. 21 of R.A. 9165 were that the drugs came from the accused. 1. Accused-appellant identified himself as "John Brian
not complied with d. Order of detention, booking sheet and preliminary test; Amarillo”, 25 years old, a resident of Laperal Compound,
(2) WON the accused was guilty beyond reasonable doubt e. Existence of the pre-operation report and the request for Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City, single, a washing boy." The
drug test. records do not indicate when, how and upon whose liking
Held: the a.k.a. "Jao Mapa" came to be associated with the
10. The prosecution also presented several documents that accused (LOL).
1. The Court finds the arguments of the accused bereft of traced how the evidence changed hands. 2. "Jao Mapa," the "washing boy" who was acquitted for
merit. 11. The Inventory in the Presence of Witnesses listed six small violation of Sec. 5 and 11, Article II of R.A. 9165, otherwise
2. In crimes involving the sale of illegal drugs, two essential transparent heat-sealed plastic sachets, each weighing known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002
elements must be satisfied: (1) identities of the buyer, the approximately 0.3g and containing white crystalline in Criminal Case in 2004, and whose name appeared in the
seller, the object, and the consideration (BSOC); and (2) the substance suspected to be Methamphetamine drugs Watchlist of Brgy. Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City, was
delivery of the thing sold and the payment for it. Hydrochloride or shabu, previously marked as "ECA" again charged with illegal sale and illegal possession of
3. In the prosecution for illegal possession of dangerous drugs, 04/14/0521, and showed the corresponding photos taken shabu this time allegedly committed in 2006.
on the other hand, it must be shown that: (1) the accused is during the inventory. 3. On 8 May 2006, accused-appellant pleaded not guilty.
in possession of an item or an object identified to be a 12. The Certificate of Preliminary Test prepared under the 4. During pre-trial, the forensic chemist and PO2 Rafael
prohibited or a regulated drug; (2) such possession is not signature of Marites Vizcara Tamio of the BCPO DES and Castillo, the police investigator assigned to the case,
authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and addressed to the Baguio City Prosecutor, certified that on appeared in court.
consciously possessed the said drug. April 14, 2005, at 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon, she 5. The parties stipulated on the following: "qualification of the
4. In this case, all these elements were satisfactorily proven conducted a preliminary test on the same marked items by forensic chemist as an expert witness; existence of the
by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt through using Simons reagent on the white crystalline substance documents relative to the examination conducted by the
testimonial, documentary and object evidence presented contained in the individually heat-sealed plastic sachets. forensic chemist; substance, subject matter of [the] case;
during the trial. 13. All the items yielded a "dark blue color," indicating the existence of the Final Investigation [R]eport; and
5. PO2 Antolin, the designated poseur-buyer, testified as to the presence of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, a dangerous Acknowledgement Receipt," after which, the court ordered
circumstances surrounding the apprehension of the accused, drug. The same certificate stated that the alleged that the testimony of the forensic chemist and the police
and the seizure and marking of the illegal drugs recovered confiscated pieces of evidence were turned over the to the investigator be dispensed with.
from the accused. PNP Crime Laboratory Service at Camp Bado Dangwa, La 6. After the trial, the RTC found Jao Mapa guilty beyond
6. Then, SPO4 Sison corroborated PO2 Antolin’s testimony and Trinidad, Benguet for chemistry analysis and disposition. reasonable doubt.
confirmed that all the confiscated items recovered from the 14. Finally, Chemistry Report No. D-044-200525 issued by the 7. The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC
accused were turned over to him as team leader. PNP Regional Crime Laboratory Office at Camp Bado 8. Hence, this automatic review of the accused decision
7. The accused also argues that the procedure in the custody Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet stated that following a
and disposition of the dangerous drugs was not observed. qualitative examination conducted on the same marked Issue: WON the chain of custody was followed
The Court finds, however, that the compliance with the items, it was found that the specimens produced a positive
chain of custody rule was sufficiently established in this result for the presence of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, Held:
case. a dangerous drug.
8. In the chain of custody in a buy-bust situation, the following 15. The illegal drugs subject of the buy-bust transaction and 1. To prove illegal sale of shabu, the following elements must
links must be established: first, the seizure and marking, if those recovered from the person of the accused were be present: "(a) the identities of the buyer and the seller,
practicable, of the illegal drug recovered from the accused positively identified by PO2 Antolin, marked and presented the object of the sale, and the consideration; and (b) the
by the apprehending officer; second, the turnover of the as evidence during trial delivery of the thing sold and the payment for the thing.
illegal drug seized by the apprehending officer to the
2. And, to secure conviction, it is material to establish that the SAID SOTF office, for formal dispositions and proper testimonies of the witnesses, the photographs, and the
transaction or sale actually took place, and to bring to the investigations. Acknowledgement Receipt of the items seized.
court the corpus delicti as evidence. 15. Even assuming for the sake of argument that all of these
3. In the instant case, the prosecution proved beyond 5. That, before the SAID SOTF office, the investigator on case were defective for one reason or another, the defense failed
reasonable doubt that accused-appellant, not being acknowledge the complaint, and in preparation for the formal to consider the following well-settled principle:
authorized by law, sold a sachet of shabu to PO1 Mendoza filing of formal charges against herein suspects, same was
in a buy-bust operation. subjected to the procedural Drug Test at SOCO/SPD and The failure of the prosecution to show that the police officers
4. PO1 Mendoza testified that, during the buy-bust operation, mandatory MEDICO LEGAL examinations at OSMAK Malugay as conducted the required physical inventory and photograph of the
the informant introduced him to accused-appellant; that assisted by the same arresting officers, xxx. The confiscated pieces evidence confiscated pursuant to said guidelines, is not fatal and
informant asked accused-appellant if he could help PO1 of evidence, only in so far with the suspected illegal drugs and the does not automatically render accused-appellant’s arrest illegal or
Mendoza buy shabu; that accused-appellant agreed to sell small white plastic Mercury Drug were referred at SOCO SPD for the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible.
him Three Hundred Peso-worth of shabu; that PO1 laboratory examinations and safe keeping.
Mendoza, counted the pre-marked bills in front of accused- 16. The Court has long settled that an accused may still be found
appellant and gave them to him; and that accused- guilty, despite the failure to faithfully observe the
appellant, in turn, handed him a small transparent plastic 12. The testimony, in turn, is well-supported by a copy of the requirements provided under Sec. 21 of RA 9165, for as long
sachet, which he took from the pocket of his short pants, Request for Laboratory Examination (Exhibit "A") showing as the chain of custody remains unbroken.
and which tested for shabu based on the result of the that it was PO1 Mendoza himself who brought the request 17. As to the credibility of the witnesses and their testimonies,
laboratory examination. to the PNP Crime Laboratory. we hold, as we have done time and again, that "the
5. PO1 Lique corroborated the testimony of PO1 Mendoza by 13. As to the required "presence of the accused or the person/s determination by the trial court of the credibility of
stating that he saw accused-appellant hand something to from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or witnesses, when affirmed by the appellate court, is accorded
the poseur-buyer. his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the full weight and credit as well as great respect, if not
6. Further, the seized items, together with the result of the media and the Department of Justice, and any elected public conclusive effect" and that "findings of the trial courts which
laboratory examination and the marked money were all official," Section 21, Article II of the Implementing Rules and are factual in nature and which involve credibility are
presented in court. Regulations (IRR) of R.A. 9165 specifically provides: accorded respect when no glaring errors; gross
7. As to the crime of illegal possession of shabu, the misapprehension of facts; or speculative, arbitrary, and
prosecution clearly proved the presence of the following SECTION 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, unsupported conclusions can be gathered from such
essential elements of the crime: "(a) the accused [was] in and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous findings."
possession of an item or object that is identified to be a Drugs, Controlled Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential 18. Also, after a thorough examination of the records, we find
prohibited or dangerous drug; (b) such possession [was] not Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory the testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution
authorized by law; and (c) the accused freely and Equipment. – x x x: credible. For instance, after the cross examination of
consciously possessed the drug." Barangay Captain Gatchalian, the presiding judge asked him
8. After the arrest of the accused-appellant, seventeen (17) 1) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and a number of clarificatory questions, which he readily
heat-sealed sachets of white substance were found in his control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and answered in a straightforward manner.
possession. confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the 19. PO3 Lique corroborated material facts in the testimony of
9. The chemistry report showed that the white substance in presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items PO1 Mendoza, to the effect that the sale of shabu between
the plastic sachets tested for shabu. And, there was no were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or accused-appellant and PO1 Mendoza was consummated,
showing that such possession was authorized by law. counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of and that Barangay Captain Gatchalian was present during
10. We find no merit in the arguments of the defense that the Justice, and any elected public official who shall be required to the inventory of the seized items.
arresting officers did not testify that the marking of the sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof: 20. The doctrine of presumption of regularity in the
seized items were done in the presence of the persons Provided, that the physical inventory and photograph shall be performance of official duty is likewise applicable in the
mentioned by the law and its implementing rules; and that conducted at the place where the search warrant is served; or at instant case there being no showing of any ill motive on the
testimonies on how the confiscated items were turned over the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the part of the arresting officers to falsely accuse accused-
to the investigator for examination were lacking. apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of appellant of the crimes charged. In fact, he himself testified
11. The Joint Affidavit of Arrest executed by PO1 Mendoza and warrantless seizures; Provided, further, that non-compliance with that "he did not know any of the persons who arrested him
PO1 Randy C. Santos, the allegations of which PO1 Mendoza these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the and that he did not also have any misunderstanding with
affirmed and confirmed during his direct testimony, is clear integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are any one of them." The Court elucidated:
on two points: (1) that the seized items were marked and properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not
inventoried at the place where accused-appellant was render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said And in the absence of proof of any intent on the part of the police
arrested; and (2) that the integrity of the seized items was items; authorities to falsely impute such a serious crime against
preserved. Thus: appellant, as in this case, the presumption of regularity in the
14. This has been substantially complied with after the performance of official duty, must prevail over the self-serving
4. That immediately thereafter, together with the confiscated prosecution was able to show that the accused, the and uncorroborated claim of appellant that she had been framed.
pieces of evidence marked and inventoried at the place of arresting officers and a public official were all present during
suspect’s apprehension, the confiscated pieces of evidence, the inventory of the seized items as evidenced by the 21. WHEREFORE, the Decision of the CA is AFFIRMED
together with suspect AMARILLO, were immediately brought at
People v. Domingo Sabardan 5. If this were true, Richelle could not have known that she was the beer must have caused her to feel dizzy and lose
G.R. No. 132135, May 21, 2004 raped by the appellant since she testified that she felt dizzy consciousness. She was rendered to such stupor, weakness
and lost consciousness after drinking beer and juice. of body and mind as to prevent effectual resistance and
Facts: 6. The appellant asserts that the prosecution failed to prove preclude the possibility of consent.
that Richelle was illegally detained by the appellant in his 15. Second. In People vs. Del Rosario, we held that a test to
1. An information was filed against accused for serious illegal apartment, and that he forced her to have sexual determine the presence of any sedative or drug in the drinks
detention committed against Richelle Banluta and had intercourse with him. given to a victim is not an indispensable element in the
carnal knowledge with the latter. 7. The evidence on record, the appellant insists, shows that prosecution for rape:
2. Accused detained Richelle for 15 days and made her drink Richelle agreed to stay with him in his apartment after
either beer or juice which made her dizzy. leaving their house and consented to having sexual True, there was no test conducted to determine the presence of
3. On Sept. 30, 1991, the appellant left the house, but closed intercourse with him. From the time Richelle arrived at his any sedative or drug in the drinks given to the victims which
the door outside with three padlocks. At about 5:00 a.m. on apartment in the evening of September 15, 1991 up to caused them to lose momentary control of their faculties. But this
that same day, Elizabeth de Luna, a housewife who lived September 30, 1991, she never tried to escape, nor shouted is of little consequence as the same is not an indispensable
about thirty meters away from the appellant, heard for help, despite the proximity of the appellant’s apartment element in the prosecution for rape. Under the circumstances, it
someone hysterically shouting, "Mang Domeng!" Elizabeth to their house and that of Elizabeth de Luna. suffices that the victim was found to have been unconscious at
sensed that the voice was that of Richelle’s. She looked out 8. The contention of the appellant does not persuade. the time the offender had carnal knowledge of her.
of the window of her house and saw the appellant in the 9. The verisimilitude and probative weight of the testimony of
upper floor of his apartment, walking to and from Richelle, that the appellant detained her against her will and 16. Richelle testified that during the fourth and fifth days of her
4. This eventually led to the rescue of Richelle raped her in his apartment, were not debilitated by her captivity, before she was rescued on September 30, 1991,
5. Richelle was, thereafter, brought to the police station for mistake in declaring that the apartment of the appellant was the appellant forced her to drink beer or juice, threatening
investigation. There, she executed a written sworn at No. 5-C Linaluz Street, when, in fact, it was at No. 11-C Luz to kill her if she refused.
statement dated October 2, 1991. She also signed a criminal Street, San Carlos Heights Subdivision, Tayuman, 17. Despite her resistance, the appellant succeeded in forcing
complaint charging the appellant of serious illegal detention Binangonan, Rizal her to drink the beverage. Richelle felt dizzy and
with rape. 10. It must be stressed that the situs criminis is not an unconscious as a consequence, and when she came to,
6. Dr. Jesusa O. Nieves, a medico-legal officer of the PNP Crime essential element in rape. The gravamen of the felony is the found herself completely naked with the appellant beside
Laboratory Service, conducted a physical and medical carnal knowledge by the accused of the private complainant her who was also completely nude.
examination on the private complainant on October 3, 1991 under any of the circumstances provided in Article 335 of 18. Understandably, Richelle could not have seen the appellant
7. For his defense, appellant raised that he did not know the Revised Penal Code, as amended. insert his penis into her vagina since she lost consciousness
Richelle and the latter was only trying to exact money from 11. Richelle’s mistake was only minor and collateral to the after drinking the beer and juice.
him. gravamen of the crime charged. She consistently testified 19. However, in rape cases, carnal knowledge of the victim by
8. The RTC rendered a decision finding the accused guilty that the appellant detained and raped her in his apartment, the accused may be proven not only by direct evidence but
9. Hence, this appeal only about thirty meters away from their house in San Carlos also by circumstantial evidence, provided that there is
Heights Subdivision, Tayuman, Binangonan, Rizal. The more than one circumstance; the facts from which the
Issue: WON the appellant is guilty of the crime charged appellant admitted that he resided in the said apartment, inferences are derived are proven; the combination of all
and that Richelle and her family were his neighbors. the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction
Held: 12. In People vs. Monieva, we stressed that where the beyond reasonable doubt.
inconsistency is not an essential element of the crime, such 20. In the case at bar, the evidence on record shows that, on the
1. Anent the first and second assigned errors, the appellant inconsistency is insignificant and cannot have any bearing on fourth and fifth day of Richelle’s captivity, and while seated
contends that he was deprived of his right to be informed of the essential fact testified to. It has been held that on the sofa in the sala of the ground floor of the appellant’s
the nature and cause of the accusation against him because inconsistencies and discrepancies in the testimony, referring apartment, the appellant forced her to drink beer. She felt
he was charged of detaining and raping the private to minor details and not upon the basic aspect of the crime, dizzy and lost consciousness, and when she came to, found
complainant in his apartment at No. 5 Linaluz Street, San do not diminish the witnesses’ credibility. herself in the room on the second floor of the apartment,
Carlos Heights Subdivision, Tayuman, Binangonan, Rizal. 13. The case for the prosecution was not enfeebled by its failure completely naked, with the appellant beside her. Richelle
2. However, the prosecution’s evidence shows that she was to adduce in evidence the substance or drug which the felt severe pains in her vagina and was petrified when she
detained and raped at No. 11-C Luz Street, San Carlos appellant forced Richelle to drink and which made her dizzy saw plenty of blood on it. She washed her bloodied vagina
Heights Subdivision, Tayuman, Binangonan, Rizal. and unconscious, or its failure to present an expert witness with water.
3. Furthermore, the appellant asserts that under the to testify on the presence of any sedative in the beer and 21. The testimony of Richelle, that the appellant succeeded in
allegations of the Information, the private complainant was juice which Richelle was made to drink. raping her, is corroborated by Dr. Jesusa Nieves’ medical
raped when she was "deprived of reason or otherwise 14. First. The drug or substance in question is only findings that Richelle was no longer in a virgin state
unconscious by reason of a drug" which the appellant corroborative to Richelle’s testimony that she became dizzy physically and that her hymen had a deep laceration at
supposedly administered to her. and unconscious when the appellant forced her to drink seven o’clock when she was examined on October 3, 1991.
4. The prosecution, however, failed to adduce evidence that he beer and juice. There can be no other conclusion than that 22. We reject the appellant’s submission that he could not have
administered any drug to the private complainant before the appellant mixed a sedative in the beverage which he raped Richelle during the period of September 17, 1991 to
she was raped. forced Richelle to drink. It must be stressed that Richelle September 30, 1991 because when she was examined by Dr.
was then barely twelve years old. The alcoholic content of
Nieves on October 3, 1991, the lacerations in her hymen had religiosity is not always a badge of good conduct and faith is 37. Richelle could not have escaped from the appellant’s
already healed. no guarantee against any sexual perversion. apartment during her stay therein from September 17, 1991
23. The appellant’s reliance on the testimony of Dr. Nieves, that 31. In the case of People vs. Diopita, this Court pronounced that until September 30, 1991, because the appellant locked the
the healing period of the lacerations on the hymen was an accused is not entitled to an acquittal simply because he door from the outside whenever he would go out. Richelle
seven (7) days from the infliction of such lacerations, is is of good moral character and exemplary conduct. could move around the house, but the windows on the
misplaced. The doctor did not testify that the laceration in 32. The affirmance or reversal of his conviction must be ground and second floors had grills with smoked glass.
the hymen of Richelle could not have been healed in less resolved on the basic issue of whether the prosecution had Richelle tried to open the windows, but she could not.
than seven days. discharged its duty of proving his guilt beyond reasonable 38. We, likewise, find it incredible for Richelle to contrive a story
24. Indeed, the healing of wounds is dependent on several doubt. Since the evidence of the crime in the instant case is of rape which would expose herself to a lifetime of shame,
factors: (a) vascularity; (b) age of the person; (c) degree of more than sufficient to convict, the evidence of the allow an examination of her private parts and face public
rest or immobilization; and (d) nature of injury. appellant’s good moral character cannot prevail. trial.
25. In fine, although the lacerations were already healed by the 33. The appellant contends that Richelle consented to stay in his 39. A rape victim who testifies in a categorical, straightforward,
time Richelle was examined by Dr. Nieves on October 3, apartment; hence, he cannot be convicted of serious illegal spontaneous and frank manner, and remains consistent, is a
1991, it is not impossible that Richelle was raped by the detention. We agree with the appellant’s assertion that he is credible witness. The bare denial of the appellant cannot
appellant for the first time on the fourth day of her captivity. not guilty of serious illegal detention, but we do not agree prevail over the positive testimony of Richelle. Well-settled
It is well settled that healed lacerations do not necessarily that Richelle consented to stay in his apartment from is the rule that testimonies of young victims of rape deserve
negate rape. September 17, 1991 until she was rescued on September 30, full credence and should not be so easily dismissed as a
26. The appellant asserted that Richelle consented to having sex 1991. mere fabrication.
with him, because she shouted, "Mang Domeng, tama na, 34. Understandably, Richelle did not leave the appellant’s 40. In the case at bar, the trial court found the testimony of the
ayaw ko na!," when he kissed and embraced her, and apartment on September 30, 1991. She had just victim to be trustworthy and convincing. It has been held in
mashed her breasts. The appellant asserts that, in saying, surreptitiously left their house in a rebellious mood and had a long line of cases that the findings of the trial court on the
"ayaw ko na," twelve-year-old Richelle was consenting to his nowhere to go. She believed, at that time, that she was safe credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are afforded
prior sexual assaults with the appellant, who was their neighbor and her great respect, since it is the trial judge who observes and
27. The appellant’s contention deserves scant consideration. As brother’s friend. However, when the appellant sat on her monitors the behavior and demeanor of the witnesses.
gleaned from Richelle’s testimony, she had been shouting bed in the evening of the same day, completely naked, 41. Finally, the assertion of the appellant that the charge against
and pleading to the appellant everyday to stop the Richelle decided to leave the next day. She balked at leaving him was motivated by Richelle’s desire to extort money
lascivious acts and the sexual advances on her. She only when the appellant warned her that her mother, Nimfa, from him is preposterous. The appellant’s testimony to
resolutely fought back and even pulled the appellant’s hair. would berate her for sleeping at his apartment. Obviously, in prove his claim is hearsay because he was merely told by his
In fine, when the appellant subjected Richelle to his bestial warning Richelle of what to expect from her mother, the counsel of Richelle’s desire for money. The appellant failed
desires, Richelle resisted, to no avail. If, as claimed by the appellant wanted to instill fear in her mind to force her to to present his counsel to prove his claim. Besides, the
appellant, Richelle had consented to having sexual remain in his apartment. Richelle should have left the appellant was merely a catechist and had no apparent
intercourse with him from September 16, 1991 to apartment and returned home that day, and contend with sustainable means of livelihood, and only survived through
September 30, 1991, there would no longer have been a her mother’s anger for leaving their house and sleeping in the support given to him by his siblings. We agree with the
need for him to force her to drink beer and juice to render the appellant’s apartment. findings of the trial court, viz:
her dizzy and unconscious. 35. However, Richelle, then barely twelve years old and a mere
28. The testimony of Richelle should not be considered in its grade six pupil, cannot be expected to react and decide like The accused tried to insinuate ulterior or improper motive on the
truncated parts but in its entirety. The meaning of the words an adult would. She could not have foreseen the appellant’s part of the complainant by alleging that complainant Richelle
in a portion of the testimony of a witness should be evil intent of raping her. Moreover, even if she wanted to charge[d] him with this offense because they are asking money as
considered, taking into account the entirety of the latter’s leave the appellant’s apartment, she could not do so told [to] him by Atty. Mendoza.
testimony. because the appellant did not allow her to leave. Frustrated
29. Besides, bearing in mind the chastity and bashfulness of a in his first attempt, the appellant was determined to 42. This allegation is patently unmeritorious and cannot be
typical Filipina, especially one in her tender years, it is highly deflower Richelle. And the appellant succeeded, because on given any value by the court, as it was hearsay, and Atty.
inconceivable for Richelle, a young girl, to consent to sexual the fourth day of Richelle’s stay in the appellant’s Mendoza was not presented to pursue or give light on this
acts with the appellant. Richelle was barely in her teens apartment, the appellant forced her to drink beer which allegation. At any rate, the mother of the offended party,
when the harrowing experience took place. We find it caused her to feel dizzy and rendered her unconscious. The Nimfa Banluta, testified that she got the insinuation that the
deviant for a twelve-year-old naïve and unsophisticated appellant forthwith raped her. sister of the accused was willing to settle the case through
grade school student to be consenting to sexual intercourse 36. In light of the evidence on record, the original and her friend living near the street of the accused.
with the appellant. Richelle’s unwaivering sincerity and primordial intention of the appellant in keeping Richelle in 43. It is rudimentary that where there is no showing that the
candor while testifying in court convinces us that she was his apartment was to rape her and not to deprive her of private complainant was impelled by any improper motive in
constrained by her desire to seek justice for the bestial act her liberty. Hence, the appellant is guilty only of rape making the accusation against the appellant, her complaint
committed upon her person. In fact, Richelle cried while under Article 335, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code, is entitled to full faith and credit. Hence, when the appellant
recalling the sexual assaults on her. and not of the complex crime of serious illegal detention could not present any sensible justification as to why the
30. The appellant harped on his being a catechist of good moral with rape under Article 267, in relation to Articles 335 and private complainant had accused him, such fact logically
character to escape conviction. This hardly justifies the 48 of the Code. Hence, the trial court correctly sentenced proves that no improper motive propelled the latter to
conclusion that he is innocent of the crime charged. Indeed, the appellant to reclusion perpetua. charge the former of such a serious offense as rape.
44. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Decision is 4. The above elements were satisfactorily established by the 9. Since no proof of such ill-motive on the part of the PDEA
AFFIRMED prosecution. Poseur-buyer SPO1 Cariaso identified appellant buy-bust team was adduced by appellant, the RTC and CA
as the seller of shabu. While the police officers were initially did not err in giving full faith and credence to the
People v. Marco Alejandro unaware of the identity of appellant, as their CI had only prosecution’s account of the buy-bust operation. This Court
G.R. No. 205227, April 7, 2014 informed them about appellant’s co-accused, "Aida" (Imelda has repeatedly stressed that a buy-bust operation (which is
J. Villarama Solema) with whom the CI had set up a drug deal for 100 a form of entrapment) is a valid means of arresting violators
grams of shabu for the price of P360,000.00, appellant’s of R.A. No. 9165.
Facts: presence at the buy-bust scene, and his act of delivering the 10. Appellant assails the CA in not correctly interpreting the
shabu directly to SPO1 Cariaso clearly identified him as the requirements set forth in Section 21, Article II of R.A. No.
1. Appellant, along with Imelda Solema and Jenny del Rosario seller who himself demanded and received the payment 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations. He harps
were charged with violation of Sec. 5, Art. II of R.A. 9165 for from SPO1 Cariaso after giving the shabu to the latter. on the failure to immediately mark the seized shabu at the
selling shabu 5. Appellant’s arrival at the house of Imelda Solema at the scene of the incident and photograph the same, and the
2. When arraigned, all three accused pleaded not guilty. Upon appointed time of the sale transaction arranged the inventory of the confiscated items which was not shown to
demurrer to evidence filed by accused Jenny del Rosario, the previous day by the CI, and with Imelda Solema informing have been done in the presence of the accused. As to the
trial court rendered judgment acquitting her of the crime SPO1 Cariaso that they should wait for appellant after SPO1 absence of testimony by the investigator and the receiving
charged considering that her mere presence in the car used Cariaso asked for the shabu, were clear indications that they employee of the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory, appellant
by appellant is not indicative of conspiracy in the sale of acted in coordination and conspiracy to effect the sale of argues this is fatal to the case of the prosecution. He thus
illegal drugs shabu to a buyer brought by the CI and who turned out to contends that the chain of custody was broken in this case.
3. In the buy-bust operation conducted by PDEA, The seized be a police officer detailed with the PDEA. SPO1 Cariaso 11. We sustain the CA’s ruling on the chain of custody issue.
plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance was placed his initials and date of buy-bust on the plastic sachet 12. Under Section 1(b) of Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation
marked by SPO1 Cariaso with his initials "EXH. A J.A.C. July containing white crystalline substance sold to him by No. 1, Series of 2002, which implements R.A. No. 9165,
12, 2006" and signed it at the bottom. SPO1 Cariaso also appellant. After Forensic Chemical Officer Pol. Insp. Apostol, "chain of custody" is defined as the duly recorded
recovered the marked P500 bills and boodle money from Jr. conducted a chemical analysis of the said specimen, the authorized movements and custody (DRAMC) of seized
appellant. The three accused and the confiscated items were result yielded positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride drugs or controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous
brought to the PDEA Regional Office in Camp Vicente Lim. or shabu, a dangerous drug. The same specimen was drugs or laboratory equipment of each stage, from the time
4. For the defense, the appellant alleged that he went to presented in court as evidence after it was properly of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory
Imelda because he was trying to rent an apartment for his identified by SPO1 Cariaso and Pol. Insp. Apostol, Jr. to be to safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. Such
girlfriend who was coming home from Japan the same substance handed by appellant to SPO1 Cariaso record of movements and custody of seized item shall
5. The RTC found that the police officers complied with all the and examined by Pol. Insp. Apostol, Jr. include the identity and signature of the person who held
requirements in conducting the buy-bust operation. RTC 6. SPO1 Platon corroborated the testimony of SPO1 Cariaso temporary custody of the seized item, the date and time
thus convicted Imelda and Marco that they conducted a buy-bust operation as he positioned when such transfer of custody were made in the course of
6. On appeal, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC himself across the street 15 meters from the house of safekeeping and use in court as evidence, and the final
7. Hence, this petition Imelda Solema. From his vantage, SPO1 Platon saw the disposition.
following transpired: SPOI Cariaso accompanied by the CI in 13. Section 21, Article II of R.A. No. 9165 laid down the
Issue: WON the accused-appellant is guilty of violation of R.A. front of the house of Imelda Solema; SPO1 Cariaso procedure for the custody and disposition of confiscated,
9165 conversing with Imelda Solema; the subsequent arrival of seized or surrendered dangerous drugs.
appellant on board the Vios; appellant going inside the Revo
Held: where SPO1 Cariaso and Imelda Solema waited for him; Section 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or
appellant getting something from the Vios and returning to Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs,
1. The appeal lacks merit. the Revo carrying the said item. Upon hearing the call from Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals,
2. Firmly established in our jurisprudence is the rule that in the SPO1 Cariaso’s cellphone, SPO1 Platon immediately Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. – The
prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, the following proceeded to the scene and arrested Jenny del Rosario who PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs,
essential elements must be proven: (1) that the transaction was still inside the Vios. At that moment, SPO1 Cariaso had plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and
or sale took place; (2) the corpus delicti or the illicit drug already arrested appellant and Imelda Solema, confiscated essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or
was presented as evidence; and (3) that the buyer and the transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline laboratory equipment so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered,
seller were identified. Implicit in all these is the need for substance and recovered the marked money from appellant. for proper disposition in the following manner:
proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, 7. Clearly, all the elements of the crime were established by
coupled with the presentation in court of the confiscated both the oral and object evidence presented in court. (1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of
prohibited or regulated drug as evidence. 8. It is settled that in cases involving violations of the the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation,
3. What determines if there was, indeed, a sale of dangerous Dangerous Drugs Act, credence is given to prosecution physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of
drugs in a buy-bust operation is proof of the concurrence of witnesses who are police officers for they enjoy the the accused or the person/s from whom such items were
all the elements of the offense, to wit: (1) the identity of the presumption of having performed their duties in a regular confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a
buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and manner, unless, of course, there is evidence to the contrary representative from the media and the Department of Justice
(2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. suggesting ill-motive on their part or deviation from the (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign
regular performance of their duties. the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof;
15. This Court has already ruled in several cases that the failure the inventory thereof, along with the marked money also
(2) Within twenty-four (24) hours upon confiscation/seizure of of the prosecution to show that the police officers confiscated from appellant. He was present next to the
dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled conducted the required physical inventory and photograph investigator while the latter was conducting the inventory.
precursors and essential chemicals, as well as of the evidence confiscated pursuant to the guidelines, is 23. The third link constitutes the delivery of the request for
instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment, the not fatal. It does not automatically render accused- laboratory examination and the specimen to the PNP
same shall be submitted to the PDEA Forensic Laboratory for a appellant’s arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated Regional Crime Laboratory. It was likewise SPO1 Cariaso who
qualitative and quantitative examination; from him inadmissible. brought the said request and the specimen to the PNP
16. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the Regional Crime Laboratory on the same day. He personally
(3) A certification of the forensic laboratory examination results, integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items, as the turned over the specimen marked "EXH A J.A.C. July 12,
which shall be done under oath by the forensic laboratory same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt of 2006" to the receiving clerk as evidenced by the stamp
examiner, shall be issued within twenty-four (24) hours after the the accused. receipt on the said request bearing the time and date
receipt of the subject item/s: Provided, That when the volume of 17. Records reveal that only the marked money was received as "10:25 PM July 12, 2006."
the dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, and photographed at the PDEA office. The Certificate of 24. The fourth link seeks to establish that the specimen
controlled precursors and essential chemicals does not allow the Inventory, though not signed by the accused, was duly submitted for laboratory examination is the one presented
completion of testing within the time frame, a partial laboratory signed by team leader PCI Ablang, a representative from the in court. Forensic Chemical Officer Pol. Insp. Apostol, Jr.
examination report shall be provisionally issued stating therein media and a barangay councilor. We thus find substantial testified that the transparent plastic sachet containing white
the quantities of dangerous drugs still to be examined by the compliance with the requirements of Section 21 of R.A. No. crystalline substance which was marked "EXH A J.A.C. July
forensic laboratory: Provided, however, That a final certification 9165 and IRR. 12, 2006", was given to him by the receiving clerk. Within
shall be issued on the completed forensic laboratory examination 18. Time and again, jurisprudence is consistent in stating that twenty-four hours, he conducted the chemical analysis by
on the same within the next twenty-four (24) hours; substantial compliance with the procedural aspect of the taking a representative sample from the specimen, even
chain of custody rule does not necessarily render the seized explaining in detail the process of testing the specimen for
xxxx drug items inadmissible. shabu. He identified the specimen with markings "EXH. A
19. In the instant case, although the police officers did not J.A.C. July 12, 2006" presented as evidence in court (Exhibit
On the other hand, Section 21(a) of the Implementing Rules and strictly comply with the requirements of Section 21, Article "J") as the same specimen he examined and which he found
Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 9165 reads: II of R.A. No. 9165, their noncompliance did not affect the positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.
evidentiary weight of the drugs seized from appellant as 25. The non-presentation as witnesses of other persons such
(a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and the chain of custody of the evidence was shown to be as the investigator and the receiving clerk of the PNP
control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and unbroken under the circumstances of the case. Regional Crime Laboratory is not a crucial point against the
confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the 20. In the case of People v. Kamad, the Court enumerated the prosecution.
presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items links that the prosecution must establish in the chain of 26. The matter of presentation of witnesses by the prosecution
were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or custody in a buy-bust situation to be as follows: first, the is not for the court to decide. The prosecution has the
counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of seizure and marking, if practicable, of the illegal drug discretion as to how to present its case and it has the right
Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required recovered from the accused by the apprehending officer; to choose whom it wishes to present as witnesses.
to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof: second, the turnover of the illegal drug seized by the 27. Further, there is nothing in R.A. No. 9165 or in its
Provided, that the physical inventory and photograph shall be apprehending officer to the investigating officer; third, the implementing rules, which requires each and every one who
conducted at the place where the search warrant is served; or at turnover by the investigating officer of the illegal drug to came into contact with the seized drugs to testify in court.
the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the the forensic chemist for laboratory examination; and 28. "As long as the chain of custody of the seized drug was
apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of fourth, the turnover and submission of the marked illegal clearly established to have not been broken and the
warrantless seizures; Provided, further, that non-compliance with drug seized from the forensic chemist to the court. prosecution did not fail to identify properly the drugs
these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the 21. The first link in the chain of custody starts with the seizure seized, it is not indispensable that each and every person
integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are of the transparent plastic sachet containing shabu during who came into possession of the drugs should take the
properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not the buy-bust operation. Records show that from the time witness stand."
render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said appellant handed to SPO1 Cariaso the said item, only SPO1 29. With the unbroken chain of custody duly established by the
items[.] Cariaso was in possession of the same until it was brought to prosecution evidence, the CA did not err in giving the same
the PDEA office. SPO1 Cariaso himself marked the said full credence in contrast to the denial by appellant who
14. In this case, while SPO1 Cariaso testified that he sachet of shabu with his initials and date of buy-bust: "EXH A failed to substantiate his allegation of frame-up and
immediately marked the transparent plastic sachet J.A.C. July 12, 2006." While the marking was not extortion.
containing white crystalline substance sold to him by immediately made at the crime scene, it does not 30. Frame-up, like alibi, is generally viewed with caution by the
appellant, there was no statement as to whether such automatically impair the integrity of the chain of custody as Court because it is easy to contrive and difficult to disprove.
marking was made at the place of arrest. From the records it long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized It is a common and standard line of defense in prosecutions
is clear that such marking was done upon reaching the PDEA items have been preserved. of violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
office before its turnover to the investigator on duty. What 22. The second link is the turnover of the shabu at the PDEA 31. To substantiate such defense, the evidence must be clear
is important is that the seized specimen never left the office. SPO1 Cariaso testified that he turned over the seized and convincing and should show that the members of the
custody of SPO1 Cariaso as he was present throughout the plastic sachet containing shabu with his markings "EXH A buy-bust team were inspired by any improper motive or
physical inventory being conducted by the said investigator. J.A.C. July 12, 2006" to the investigator who proceeded with were not properly performing their duty. Otherwise, the
police officers' testimonies on the operation deserve full (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign 11. The procedures outlined in Section 21 of R.A. 9165 are not
faith and credit. the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof; merely empty formalities—these are safeguards against
32. No such evidence was presented by appellant in this case. abuse, the most notorious of which is its use as a tool for
The CA even quoted in part the decision of the RTC which 2. Compliance with the above, especially the required physical extortion.
highlighted the irreconcilable inconsistencies in the inventory and photograph of the seized drugs in the 12. And what is the prosecution’s evidence that the substances,
testimonies of defense witnesses on what transpired during presence of the accused, the media, and responsible which the police chemist examined and found to be shabu,
the buy-bust operation. government functionaries, would be clear evidence that the were the same substances that the police officers allegedly
33. WHEREFORE, the present appeal is DISMISSED police had carried out a legitimate buy-bust operation. seized from Romeo and Mercy? No such evidence exists.
3. Here, the prosecution was unable to adduce such evidence, 13. As pointed out above, the prosecution stipulated with the
People v. Romeo Oniza v. Mercy Oniza indicating that the police officers did not at all comply with accused that the police chemist “could not testify on the
G.R. No. 202709, July 3, 2013 prescribed procedures. Worse, they offered no excuse or source and origin of the subject specimens that she had
J. Abad explanation at the hearing of the case for their blatant examined.” No police officer testified out of personal
omission of what the law required of them. knowledge that the substances given to the police chemist
Facts: 4. Apart from the above, the prosecution carried the burden of and examined by her were the very same substances seized
establishing the chain of custody of the dangerous drugs from the accused.
1. On June 21, 2004, the Public Prosecutors Office of Rizal file that the police allegedly seized from the accused on the 14. In regard to the required presence of representatives from
charges of possession of dangerous drugs before the RTC of night of June 16, 2004. the DOJ and the media and an elective official, the
Rizal, Br. 2 against the accused spouses Romeo and Mercy. 5. It should establish the following links in that chain of custody prosecution also did not bother to offer any justification,
They were further charged with selling drugs. of the confiscated item: first, the seizure and marking, if even a hollow one, for failing to comply with such
2. Police officers of Rodriguez Police Station in Rizal received practicable, of the illegal drug recovered from the accused requirement. What is more, the police officers could have
information from a police asset that the accused Mercy was by the apprehending officer; second, the turnover of the easily coordinated with any elected barangay official in the
selling dangerous drugs. They formed a team for a buy-bust illegal drug seized by the apprehending officer to the conduct of the police operation in the locality.
operation. investigating officer; third, the turnover by the investigating 15. WHEREFORE, the Court REVERSES and SETS ASIDE Decision
3. After 5 years of trial, RTC rendered its decision finding the officer of the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for of the CA, accused is ACQUITTED
accused guilty of the crime charged laboratory examination; and fourth, the turnover and
4. On appeal, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC submission of the marked illegal drug seized from the People v. Jose Clara
forensic chemist to the court. G.R. No. 195528, July 24, 2013
Issue: WON the prosecution was able to prove beyond 6. Still, jurisprudence has established a rare exception with J. Perez
reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused respect to the first required link—immediate seizure and
marking of the seized items in the presence of the accused Facts:
Held: and others—namely, that (a) there must be justifiable
grounds for non-compliance with the procedures; and (b) 1. Joel was charged with the crime of Sale of illegal drugs
1. The law prescribes certain procedures in keeping custody the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are punishable under R.A. 9165
and disposition of seized dangerous drugs like the shabu properly preserved. 2. The RTC found the accused of the crime charged
that the police supposedly confiscated from Romeo and 7. Here, the prosecution’s own evidence as recited by the CA 3. The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC ruling that all the
Mercy on June 16, 2004. Section 21 of Republic Act (R.A.) and the RTC is that the police officers did not make a elements of an illegal sale of dangerous drugs were present
9165 reads: physical inventory of the seized drugs nor did they take a 4. Hence, this appeal
picture of the same in the presence of the accused,
Section 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or someone in the media, a Department of Justice (DOJ) Issue: WON Joel is guilty of illegal sale of drugs
Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, representative, and any elected public official.
Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals, 8. All that Officer Albarico could say is that his companion, Held:
Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. – The Officer Jiro, marked the plastic sachets with the initials of
PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs, the accused already at the police station and then turned 1. After a careful review of the evidence, we resolve to reverse
plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and over the same to the desk officer who prepared the Request the ruling of conviction and render a judgment of acquittal
essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or for Laboratory Examination. in favor of the accused.
laboratory equipment so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, 9. Yet, the police officers did not bother to offer any sort of 2. In his Brief, the accused-appellant contested his conviction
for proper disposition in the following manner: reason or justification for their failure to make an inventory due to the inconsistencies in the prosecution’s presentation
and take pictures of the drugs immediately after their of a supposed buy-bust operation, coupled with its failure to
(1)The apprehending team having initial custody and control of seizure in the presence of the accused and the other persons establish with certainty the chain of custody of evidence. He
the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, designated by the law. also argued against the presumption of regularity of
physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of 10. Both the RTC and the CA misapprehended the significance of performance of duties. Finally, to substantiate his
the accused or the person/s from whom such items were such omission. It is imperative for the prosecution to innocence, he pointed out that he was not even the target
confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a establish a justifiable cause for non-compliance with the person in the PDEA Coordination Report and denied any
representative from the media and the Department of Justice procedural requirements set by law.
conspiracy and involvement with such target person named nothing to do with the elements of a crime, it does not stand seized item shall include the identity and signature of the person
"Ningning." as a ground to reverse a conviction. who held temporary custody of the seized item, the date and time
3. Inspite of the imperfect narration of events by the accused 14. However, in this case, the material inconsistencies are when such transfer of custody were made in the course of
Joel, we are constrained to render a judgment of acquittal furthered by inconsistencies of the police officers on minor safekeeping and use in court as evidence, and the final
due to the lapses of the prosecution that led to its failure details. Referring back to the narration of circumstances of disposition.
to discharge the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt the buy-bust operation, SPO2 Nagera was asked about the
that the accused committed the crime. gender of the informant who went to their office to report 18. To establish the chain of custody in a buy-bust operation,
4. In order to successfully prosecute an offense of illegal sale of about the illegal activities committed by Ningning. He readily the prosecution must establish the following links, namely:
dangerous drugs, like shabu, the following elements must answered that the informant was a female. First, the seizure and marking, if practicable, of the illegal
first be established: (1) the identity of the buyer and the 15. PO3 Ramos in turn, when asked to describe what happened drug recovered from the accused by the apprehending
seller, the object and consideration of the sale; and (2) the in the afternoon before the buy-bust operation, testified officer; Second, the turnover of the illegal drug seized by the
delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. that a male informant came to their office to report about a apprehending officer to the investigating officer; Third, the
5. It is basic in criminal prosecutions that an accused is person selling illegal drugs. turnover by the investigating officer of the illegal drug to the
presumed innocent of the charge laid unless the contrary is 16. These conflicting statements of the prosecution effectively forensic chemist for laboratory examination; and Fourth, the
proven beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution has the broke the chain of custody of evidence of the sale of turnover and submission of the marked illegal drug seized by
burden to overcome such presumption of innocence by dangerous drug. the forensic chemist to the court.
presenting the quantum of evidence required. 17. Section 21(a) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations 19. The "objective test" in determining the credibility of
6. Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean such a (IRR) of R.A. No. 9165 provides for the procedure to be prosecution witnesses regarding the conduct of buy-bust
degree of proof as, excluding possibility of error, produces observed in preserving the integrity of chain of custody: operation provides that it is the duty of the prosecution to
absolute certainty. Moral certainty only is required, or that present a complete picture detailing the buy-bust
degree of proof which produces conviction in an Section 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized and/or operation—from the initial contact between the poseur-
unprejudiced mind. Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, buyer and the pusher, the offer to purchase, the promise or
7. It must rest on its own merits and must not rely on the Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals, payment of the consideration, until the consummation of
weakness of the defense. If the prosecution fails to meet the the sale by the delivery of the illegal subject of sale.
required amount of evidence, the defense may logically not Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. – The 20. The manner by which the initial contact was made, the offer
even present evidence on its own behalf, in which case, the PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs, to purchase the drug, the payment of the buy-bust money,
presumption prevails and the accused should necessarily be plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and and the delivery of the illegal drug must be the subject of
acquitted. essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law-abiding citizens
8. In this case, the prosecution failed to overcome such laboratory so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense.
presumption when it presented inconsistent versions of an disposition in the following manner: 21. In view of these guiding principles, we rule that the
illegal sale. prosecution failed to present a clear picture on how the
9. PO3 Ramos identified Joel as the seller who sold to him a (a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and police officers seized and marked the illegal drug recovered
small plastic sachet containing shabu in exchange of two control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and by the apprehending officer and how the specimen was
hundred pesos confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the turned over by the apprehending officer to the investigating
10. The testimony of PO3 Ramos, which apparently was given presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items officer.
as proof of all the elements that constitute an illegal sale of were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or 22. As to the first link of marking, the three police officers failed
drug is however, inconsistent on material points from the counsel, a representative from media and the Department of to agree on who among them marked the plastic sachet,
recollection of events of PO3 Ramos, SPO2 Nagera and PO1 Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required which is highly improbable if they really had a clear grasp on
Jimenez regarding the marking, handling and turnover of to sign the copies of the inventory and be given copy thereof. what really transpired on the day of operation.
the plastic sachet containing the dangerous drug of shabu. Provided, that the physical inventory and the photograph shall be 23. PO3 Ramos testified that he placed his marking on the small
11. Contradictory statements were further made as to who conducted at the place where the search warrant is served; or at plastic sachet but recanted his previous statement at the
between PO3 Ramos and PO1 Jimenez held the shabu from least the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the latter part of the examination and pointed out that it was
the time of the arrest until arrival at the police station apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of the investigator PO1 Jimenez who put the marking in front
12. Inconsistencies of the prosecution witnesses referring to the warrantless seizures; Provided, further, that noncompliance with of him at the area of arrest.70 SPO2 Nagera in his testimony
events that transpired in the buy-bust operation can these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the confirmed that it was PO1 Jimenez who put marking on the
overturn the judgment of conviction. As held in Zaragga v. integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly plastic sachet.71 However, PO1 Jimenez in his testimony
People, material inconsistencies with regard to when and preserved by the apprehending team/officer, shall not render clarified that the item confiscated were already marked by
where the markings on the shabu were made and the lack of void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. the apprehending officers when it was turned over to him in
inventory on the seized drugs created reasonable doubt as their office.
to the identity of the corpus delicti. Prosecution’s failure to "Chain of custody" means the duly recorded authorized 24. Likewise, they cannot seem to agree on the second link on
indubitably show the identity of the shabu led to the movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled chemicals who among them held the item confiscated from the time of
acquittal of the accused in that case. or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory equipment of arrest and confiscation until it was turned over to the
13. Inconsistencies and discrepancies referring to minor details each stage, from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the investigator and the place where it was turned over.
and not upon the basic aspect of the crime do not diminish forensic laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court and 25. PO3 Ramos positively pointed that it was PO1 Jimenez who
the witnesses’ credibility. If the cited inconsistency has finally for destruction. Such record of movements and custody of took possession of the item from the time of the arrest until
arrival at the police station.73 However, when SPO2 Nagera events of buy-bust together and failure of observance of
was asked, he pointed out that it was PO3 Ramos who held chain of custody of evidence which effectively broke the
the item from the time of the arrest until they reached the links to sustain conviction, we rule for the acquittal of the
police where it was turned over to Jimenez for investigation. accused.
26. In Malillin v. People, it was explained that the chain of 35. WHEREFORE, the appeal is GRANTED
custody rule includes testimony about every link in the
chain, from the moment the item was picked up to the time
it was offered in evidence, in such a way that every person
who touched the exhibit would describe how and from
whom it was received, where it was and what happened to
it while in the witness’ possession, the condition in which it
was received and the condition in which it was delivered to
the next link in the chain.
27. The inconsistent statements of the police officers generated
doubt on whether the identity of the evidence seized upon
apprehension is the same evidence subjected to marking
and inventory then given to the Jimenez for investigation
and eventually submitted by PO3 Ramos for examination by
the forensic chemist
28. The prosecution cannot rely on the saving clause provided
under Section 21(a) of the IRR that non-compliance with the
legal requirements shall not render void and invalid seizures
of and custody over said items. This saving clause is
applicable only if prosecution was able to prove the twin
conditions of (a) existence of justifiable grounds and (b)
preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the
items.77 The procedural lapses in this case put to doubt the
integrity of the items presented in court.
29. The People, through the Office of the Solicitor General, is
adamant in its argument that there is a presumption of
regularity in the performance of duty by police officers
conducting buy-bust operation.
30. We agree but with qualification.
31. In numerous cases, we were inclined to uphold the
presumption of regularity in the performance of duty of
public officers. However, this is not a hard-and-fast rule. It
does not mean that we straight away and without a blink of
the eye rule on the regularity of their performance of duties.
We at all times harmonize the interest of the accused
alongside the interest of the State.
32. Inconsistencies committed by the police officers amounting
to procedural lapses in observing the chain of custody of
evidence requirement effectively negated this presumption.
Their inaccurate recall of events amounted to irregularities
that affected the presumption and tilted the evidence in
favor of the accused. The absence of improper motive tends
to sustain inexistence but does not absolutely rule out false
charges.
33. In case of conflict between the presumption of regularity of
police officers and the presumption of innocence of the
accused, we rule that the latter must prevail as the law
imposes upon the prosecution the highest degree of proof
of evidence to sustain conviction.
34. Due to foregoing flagrant inconsistencies in the testimonies
of police officers which directly constitute the recollection of