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RTC junks case vs. 4 persons caught in 2015 Virac drug raid
posted 18-Aug-2019  ·  
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For failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt, the Regional Trial Court has acquitted four persons who were caught in a police raid of an alleged drug den in Virac in 2015.

RTC Branch 42 Presiding Judge Genie G. Gapas-Agbada dismissed the maintenance of drug den charge against Judy Manlangit, his live-in partner Ma. Sophia Gardose, and Jonel Tomagan, all of Calatagan Tibang.

It also dropped the case against Glenn de Chavez, who was charged for visiting the alleged drug den at the time.

It may be recalled that joint elements from the Virac police station and the Catanduanes Police Public Safety Company arrested the quartet in the Jan. 27, 2015 raid and seized 24 sachets of shabu weighing a total of 2.97 grams, three unsealed sachets, eight more containing shabu residue, as well as non-drug items consisting of aluminum gutter, improvised tooters, improvised wooden sealers, 104 empty sachets, rolled and crumpled aluminum foil, needle, scissors, foil roller, and lighter with flame adjuster.

During trial, the four accused plea bargained with the prosecution and admitted guilt to lesser offenses of use of dangerous drugs and illegal possession of drug paraphernalia, with the Court approving the deal.

On the drug den charge, the Court noted that no one was presented to testify that the trio maintained the house they occupied as a drug den and that it is not enough that dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia were found in the place.

In de Chavez’s case, Judge Gapas-Agbada said the prosecution should have established that he knowingly visited a drug den.


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18-Aug-2019
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