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PEOPLE v. MARILYN NAQUITA Y CIBULO

This case has been cited 43 times or more.

2015-02-16
DEL CASTILLO, J.
In light of the above discussion and of PO2 Salonga's positive identification of appellant, the courts below rightly brushed aside his defenses of denial and frame-up or extortion.  Aside from being not substantiated by strong and convincing evidence, the Court has viewed such defenses with disfavor for they can easily be concocted and are common and standard ploy in prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.[17]
2014-11-24
DEL CASTILLO, J.
Finally, appellant makes much of the fact that the police operatives failed to comply with the requirements of the law with regard the handling of evidence, specifically the absence of the required physical inventory and photograph of the evidence confiscated pursuant to Section 21, par. 1, Article II of RA 9165 as implemented by Section 21 (a), Article II of its Implementing Rules and Regulations.[25] However, it must be pointed out that it was only during appeal that appellant raised these alleged breaches in the custody and handling of the seized evidence. During trial, the item object of the sale was duly marked, subjected to rigid examination, and eventually offered as evidence. Yet, at no instance did appellant manifest or even hint that there were lapses in its safekeeping which affected its admissibility, integrity and evidentiary value. Indeed, such failure to raise this issue during trial is fatal to the case of the defense as held by this Court in People v. Sta. Maria[26] and in subsequent cases.[27] Besides, mere lapses in procedures need not invalidate a seizure if the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items can be shown to have been preserved.[28] In this regard, the Court quotes with favor the CA's disquisition on chain of custody, viz: Appellant sold one (1) sachet of shabu to PO2 Archibald Tejero in the buy-bust operation. PO2 Tejero, after the arrest of appellant, marked the sachet "MDB-1" before turning it over to Police Inspector Eduardo Paningbatan. Back at the station, Police Inspector Paningbatan prepared the necessary documents for the transmittal of the sachet, particularly the letter-request for laboratory examination. He then handed the request and the sachet to PO1 Saez who, together with PO2 Archibald Tejero, delivered them to the PNP Crime Laboratory. At the laboratory, the sachet was received by Police Inspector Lourdeliza Gural, who found the sachet positive for point nineteen (.19) [gram] of Methylamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. The same sachet was identified in open court by PO2 Tejero.[29]
2013-11-13
BRION, J.
We have held that prior surveillance is not necessary to render a buy-bust operation legitimate, especially when the buy-bust team is accompanied at the target area by the informant.[34] Similarly, the presentation of an informant as a witness is not regarded as indispensable to the success in prosecuting drug-related cases.[35] It is only when the testimony of the informant is considered absolutely essential in obtaining the conviction of the culprit should the need to protect his identity be disregarded.[36] In this case, the informant had actively participated in the buy-bust operation and her testimony, if presented, would merely  corroborate the testimonies of the members of the buy-bust team.
2013-11-13
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
The Court emphasized in People v. Naquita[39] that: The issue of whether or not there was indeed a buy-bust operation primarily boils down to one of credibility.  In a prosecution for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Law, a case becomes a contest of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies.  When it comes to credibility, the trial court's assessment deserves great weight, and is even conclusive and binding, if not tainted with arbitrariness or oversight of some fact or circumstance of weight and influence.  The reason is obvious.  Having the full opportunity to observe directly the witnesses' deportment and manner of testifying, the trial court is in a better position than the appellate court to evaluate testimonial evidence properly.  The rule finds an even more stringent application where the said findings are sustained by the Court of Appeals. (Citations omitted.)
2013-02-06
BERSAMIN, J.
Similarly, the presentation of an informant as a witness is not regarded as indispensable to the success of a prosecution of a drug-dealing accused. As a rule, the informant is not presented in court for security reasons, in view of the need to protect the informant from the retaliation of the culprit arrested through his efforts. Thereby, the confidentiality of the informant's identity is protected in deference to his invaluable services to law enforcement.[23] Only when the testimony of the informant is considered absolutely essential in obtaining the conviction of the culprit should the need to protect his security be disregarded. Here, however, the informant's testimony as a witness against the accused would only be corroborative of the sufficient testimony of Paras as the poseur-buyer; hence, such testimony was unnecessary.[24]
2012-07-18
BERSAMIN, J.
To obtain a conviction for the illegal sale of a dangerous drug, like ecstacy, the State must prove the following, namely: (a) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale and the consideration; and (b) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment thereof. What is decisive is the proof that the sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti as evidence.[9]
2012-06-20
VILLARAMA, JR., J.
Now, in order to convict appellant for illegal possession of a dangerous drug, or the shabu in this case, the prosecution evidence must prove beyond reasonable doubt the following elements: (1) the appellant was in possession of an item or object that is identified to be a prohibited or dangerous drug; (2) such possession was not authorized by law; and (3) the appellant freely and consciously possessed the drug.[18]  In this case, the fact of possession by appellant of the bag containing the shabu was not established in the first place.
2012-04-11
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
In a prosecution for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Law, a case becomes "a contest of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies. When it comes to credibility, the trial court's assessment deserves great weight, and is even conclusive and binding, if not tainted with arbitrariness or oversight of some fact or circumstance of weight and influence.  The reason is obvious.  Having the full opportunity to observe directly the witnesses' deportment and manner of testifying, the trial court is in a better position than the appellate court to evaluate testimonial evidence properly.  The rule finds an even more stringent application where the said findings are sustained by the Court of Appeals."[38]
2012-04-11
VILLARAMA, JR., J.
The failure of the law enforcers to comply strictly with Section 21 was not fatal.  Noncompliance with Section 21 will not render the arrest of an accused illegal or the items seized or confiscated from him inadmissible.[31] What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused.[32]
2012-03-07
PEREZ, J.
The elements necessary for the prosecution of illegal sale of drugs are (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller, the object, and consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.  What is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of corpus delicti.[15] The delivery of the illicit drug to the poseur-buyer and the receipt by the seller of the marked money successfully consummate the buy-bust transaction.  The testimonial and the documentary pieces of evidence adduced by the prosecution in support of its case against the appellant establish the presence of these elements.
2012-02-29
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
It was held in People v. Hernandez[55] that "[t]o secure a conviction for illegal sale of shabu, the following essential elements must be established:  (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment thereof."  People v. Naquita[56] further adds that "[w]hat is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of corpus delicti."
2012-02-22
BERSAMIN, J.
To secure a conviction for illegal sale of shabu, the following essential elements must be established: (a) the identities of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale, and the consideration; and (b) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for the thing. What is material in prosecutions for illegal sale of shabu is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti as evidence.[14]
2011-08-31
DEL CASTILLO, J.
The trial court and the CA found the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses regarding petitioner's illegal sale and possession of shabu to be credible since they are consistent with the documentary and object evidence submitted by the prosecution.  "When it comes to the credibility, the trial court's assessment deserves great weight, and is even conclusive and binding, if not tainted with arbitrariness or oversight of some fact or circumstance of weight and influence."[17]  The trial court is in the best position to evaluate testimonial evidence properly because it has the full opportunity to observe directly the witnesses' deportment and manner of testifying.[18]  This rule finds an even more stringent application where said findings are affirmed by the appellate court.[19]
2011-08-15
VELASCO JR., J.
In a prosecution involving illegal possession of prohibited/dangerous   drugs, the following elements must be proved: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug.  As determined by both the trial and appellate courts, the prosecution was able to establish, through testimonial, documentary, and object evidence, the said elements.[15] As a matter of settled jurisprudence on illegal possession of drug cases, credence is usually accorded the narration of the incident by the apprehending police officers who are presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner.
2011-06-08
VELASCO JR., J.
Generally, non-compliance with Secs. 21 and 86 of RA 9165 does not mean that no buy-bust operation against appellant ever took place.[25]  The prosecution's failure to submit in evidence the required physical inventory and photograph of the evidence confiscated pursuant to Sec. 21, Art. II of RA 9165 will not discharge the accused from the crime. Non-compliance with said section is not fatal and will not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible.[26]
2011-03-30
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
In People v. Naquita,[26] we expressly declared that non-compliance with Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165 does not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible.  What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused.
2011-02-07
MENDOZA, J.
At any rate, informants are usually not presented in court because of the need to hide their identities and preserve their invaluable services to the police. It is well-settled that, except when the accused vehemently denies selling prohibited drugs and there are material inconsistencies in the testimonies of the arresting officers, or there are reasons to believe that the arresting officers had motives to falsely testify against the accused, or that the informant himself acted as the poseur-buyer and the only one who actually witnessed the entire transaction, the testimony of the informant may be dispensed with as it will merely be corroborative of the apprehending officers' eyewitness accounts.[6] In this case, the confidential informant's testimony was no longer necessary precisely because PO2 Talaue's detailed testimony was based on his personal knowledge of what actually happened during the buy-bust operation.
2010-10-11
DEL CASTILLO, J.
We are not impressed with appellant's argument that his conviction was unwarranted due to the non-presentation of the informant who allegedly told the police that he was a drug pusher.  The presentation of an informant is not a requisite in a prosecution for drug cases.[27]  "The failure of the prosecution to present the informant does not vitiate its cause as the latter's testimony is not indispensible to a successful prosecution for drug-pushing, since his testimony would be merely corroborative of and cumulative with that of the poseur-buyer who was presented in court and who testified on the facts and circumstances of the sale and delivery of the prohibited drug. Failure of the prosecution to produce the informant in court is of no moment, especially when he is not even the best witness to establish the fact that the buy-bust operation has indeed been conducted."[28]
2010-07-21
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
Anent the failure of the prosecution to present the testimony of the informant, it is well-settled that the testimony of an informant in drug-pushing cases is not essential for conviction and may be dispensed if the poseur-buyer testified on the same.[26]  Informants are almost always never presented in court because of the need to preserve their invaluable service to the police.[27]
2010-06-29
MENDOZA, J.
At any rate, non-compliance with Section 21 of RA 9165[11] will not render the arrest of an accused illegal or the items seized or confiscated from him inadmissible.[12] What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused.  In this case, it has been shown that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items has been preserved.
2010-04-23
VELASCO JR., J.
Significantly, non-compliance with Section 21 does not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible.[37] What is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused."[38]
2010-04-23
VELASCO JR., J.
Significantly, non-compliance with Section 21 does not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible.[37] What is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused."[38]
2010-03-03
VELASCO JR., J.
As can be gleaned from the language of Sec. 21 of the Implementing Rules, it is clear that the failure of the law enforcers to comply strictly with it is not fatal. It does not render appellant's arrest illegal nor the evidence adduced against him inadmissible.[22] What is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused."[23]
2010-01-25
VELASCO JR., J.
A close examination of the law reveals that it admits of certain exceptions. Thus, contrary to the assertions of appellant, Sec. 21 of the foregoing law need not be followed as an exact science. Non-compliance with Sec. 21 does not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible.[18] What is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused."[19]
2009-12-16
VELASCO JR., J.
It is very clear from the language of the law that there are exceptions to the requirements. Therefore, contrary to appellant's assertions, Sec. 21 need not be followed with pedantic rigor. It has been settled that non-compliance with Sec. 21 does not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from the accused inadmissible.[20] What is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused."[21]
2009-10-16
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
To secure a conviction for illegal sale of shabu, the following essential elements must be established: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment thereof. In prosecutions for illegal sale of shabu, what is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti as evidence.[30] In the case at bar, the prosecution was able to establish, through testimonial, documentary and object evidence, the said elements.
2009-10-16
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
The rule is that the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses are entitled to great respect because trial courts have the advantage of observing the demeanor of the witnesses as they testify. This is more true if such findings were affirmed by the appellate court. When the trial court's findings have been affirmed by the appellate court, said findings are generally binding upon this Court.[35]
2009-09-29
NACHURA, J.
In illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the elements are: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug.[21]
2009-09-17
VELASCO JR., J.
A close reading of the law reveals that it allows certain exceptions. Thus, contrary to the assertions of accused-appellant, Section 21 need not be followed with pedantic rigor. Non-compliance with Sec. 21 does not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible.[24] What is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused."[25]
2009-09-11
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
Failure of the buy-bust team to strictly comply with the provisions of said section did not prevent the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty from applying. [20]
2009-09-11
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
First, it must be made clear that in several cases[19] decided by the Court, failure by the buy-bust team to comply with said section did not prevent the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty from applying.
2009-09-04
BRION, J.
Illegal possession of dangerous drugs under Section 11 of R.A. No. 9165 carries the following elements: (1) possession by the accused of an item or object identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) the possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the free and conscious possession of the drug by the accused.[47] On the other hand, the elements of illegal possession of equipment, instrument, apparatus and other paraphernalia for dangerous drugs under Section 12 are: (1) possession or control by the accused of any equipment, apparatus or other paraphernalia fit or intended for smoking, consuming, administering, injecting, ingesting, or introducing any dangerous drug into the body; and (2) such possession is not authorized by law. The evidence for the prosecution showed the presence of all these elements.
2009-07-23
VELASCO JR., J.
To reiterate, the essential elements in a prosecution for sale of illegal drugs are: (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller, the object, and consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for it.[14] The prohibited drug is an integral part of the corpus delicti of the crime of possession or selling of regulated/prohibited drug; proof of its identity, existence, and presentation in court are crucial.[15] A conviction cannot be sustained if there is a persistent doubt on the identity of the drug. The identity of the prohibited drug must be established with moral certainty. Apart from showing that the elements of possession or sale are present, the fact that the substance illegally possessed and sold in the first place is the same substance offered in court as exhibit must likewise be established with the same degree of certitude as that needed to sustain a guilty verdict.[16]
2009-07-23
VELASCO JR., J.
A close examination of the IRR of RA 9165 readily reveals that the custodial chain rule admits of exceptions. Thus, contrary to the brazen assertions of Cortez, the prescriptions of the IRR's Sec. 21 need not be followed with pedantic rigor as a condition sine qua non for a successful prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs. Non-compliance with Sec. 21 does not, by itself, render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from the accused inadmissible in evidence.[24] What is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused."[25]
2009-06-22
NACHURA, J.
Thus, in People v. Marilyn Naquita,[23] we rejected a similar contention, holding that:The presentation of an informant is not a requisite in the prosecution of drug cases. The failure of the prosecution to present the informant does not vitiate its cause as the latter's testimony is not indispensable to a successful prosecution for drug-pushing, since his testimony would be merely corroborative of and cumulative with that of the poseur-buyer who was presented in court and who testified on the facts and circumstances of the sale and delivery of the prohibited drug. Failure of the prosecution to produce the informant in court is of no moment, especially when he is not even the best witness to establish the fact that a buy-bust operation has indeed been conducted. Informants are usually not presented in court because of the need to hide their identities and preserve their invaluable services to the police. It is well-settled that except when the accused vehemently denies selling prohibited drugs and there are material inconsistencies in the testimonies of the arresting officers, or there are reasons to believe that the arresting officers had motives to falsely testify against the accused, or that only the informant was the poseur-buyer who actually witnessed the entire transaction, the testimony of the informant may be dispensed with as it will merely be corroborative of the apprehending officers' eyewitness accounts.
2009-06-22
NACHURA, J.
Jurisprudence teems with pronouncements[26] that non-compliance with Section 21 will not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized or confiscated from him inadmissible.  What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused.  In this case, it has been shown that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items had been preserved.  Thus, appellant's claim must fail.
2009-06-18
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
To secure a conviction for illegal sale of shabu, the following essential elements must be established:  (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment thereof. In prosecutions for illegal sale of shabu, what is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti as evidence. In the case at bar, the prosecution was able to establish through testimonial, documentary and object evidence the said elements.[21]
2009-06-18
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
The rule is that the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses are entitled to great respect, because trial courts have the advantage of observing the demeanor of the witnesses as they testify. This is more true if such findings were affirmed by the appellate court. When the trial court's findings have been affirmed by the appellate court, said findings are generally binding upon this Court.[30]
2009-05-08
TINGA, J.
Otherwise stated, in illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the elements are: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug.[19]  Similarly, in this case, the evidence of the corpus delicti must be established beyond doubt.
2009-04-07
VELASCO JR., J.
Charges of extortion and frame-up are frequently made in this jurisdiction. Courts are, thus, cautious in dealing with such accusations, which are quite difficult to prove in light of the presumption of regularity in the performance of the police officers' duties. To substantiate such defense, which can be easily concocted, the evidence must be clear and convincing[15] and should show that the members of the buy-bust team were inspired by any improper motive or were not properly performing their duty. Otherwise, the police officers' testimonies on the operation deserve full faith and credit.[16]