dangerous drugs, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and knowingly have in his possession, custody and control Two (2) heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet ( sic ) each containing 0.15 gram ( sic ) and 0.28 gram ( sic ) of white crystalline substance with a total of 0.43 grams which was found positive to the test for Methamphetamine Hydrochloride commonly known as " shabu ", a dangerous drug.” According to the prosecution, at around 10 o'clock in the evening of July 30, 2003, Agent Eduardo Radan (Agent Radan) of the NARCOTICS group and PO3 Bienvy Calag II (PO3 Calag) were aboard a motorcycle, patrolling the area while on their way to visit a friend at Private Road, Barangay Hulo, Mandaluyong City. Cruising at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour along Private Road, they spotted, at a distance of about 10 meters, two (2) men - later identified as Comerciante and a certainErick Dasilla(Dasilla) - standing and showing "improper and unpleasant movements," with one of them handing plasticsachets to the other. Thinking that the sachets may containshabu, they immediately stopped and approached Comercianteand Dasilla. and confiscated two (2) plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance from them. A laboratory examination later confirmed that said sachets contained methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu .  After the prosecution rested its case, Dasilla filed a demurrer to evidence, which was granted by the RTC, thus his acquittal. However, due to Comerciante's failure to file his own demurrer to evidence, the RTC considered his right to do so waived and ordered him to present his evidence.  In his defense, Comerciante averred that PO3 Calag was looking for a certain "Barok", who was a notorious drug pusher in the area, when suddenly, he and Dasilla, who were just standing in front of a jeepney along Private Road, were arrested and taken to a police station. There, the police officers claimed to have confiscated illegal drugs from them and were asked money in exchange for their release. When they failed to accede to the demand, they were brought to another police station to undergo inquest proceedings, and thereafter, were charged with illegal possession of dangerous drugs.  The RTC found Comerciante guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 11, Article II, of RA 9165. The RTC found that PO3 Calag conducted a valid warrantless arrest on Comerciante, which yielded two (2) plastic sachets containing shabu. In this relation, the RTC opined that there was probable cause to justify the warrantless arrest, considering that PO3 Calag saw, in plain view, that Comerciante was carrying the said sachets when he decided to approach and apprehend the latter.
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- Fall '14
- Law, criminal law, Arrest, warrantless arrest