GR No. 172873 March 19, 2010
People of the Philippines, Appellee
Roldan Morales y Midarasa, Appellant
Morales was charged in two separate Informations before the RTC for possession and sale of shabu. The testimonies of the police officers were presented by the prosecution. They held a buy-bust operation in which Morales was caught having two sachets of shabu and the marked money. Morales, in his statement, said that the two male persons in civilian clothing, who identified themselves as the police, handcuffed and frisked him. Nothing was found on their way to the station. The police officer produced a sachet of shabu from his pocket and at the station, presented it as evidence against Morales. The trial court found Morales guilty.
Whether or not Morales is guilty of possession and sale of illegal drugs.
No. Morales claims that his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. The arresting officers did not place the proper markings on the alleged shabu and paraphernalia.
To be guilty of sale of illegal drugs, there should be proof that the transaction took place and the illegal drug is presented in court as evidence. To be guilty of possession of illegal drugs, it should be established that the person possesses an illegal drug and is freely aware of it.
The person to whom the police officers gave the drugs for delivery of seized items was not present in the court, nor did these police officers testify that they properly marked the drugs after the arrest of Morales. They also did not take photographs and had no representative from the media and the Department of Justice or public official to sign an inventory of the seized items. Prosecution failed to establish the chain of custody which is fatal to its cause.