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G.R. No.

192050

January 9, 2013

NELSON VALLENO y LUCITO, Petitioner,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
Facts:
The police officers, armed with a search warrant, together with two baranggay officials conducted a search inside the
house of the petitioner. PO2 Endrano, one of the police officers found a natel bag on top of a cabinet. He passed the
natel bag to PO2 valenzuela who handed it to PO2 Villano. The latter unzipped the bag and uncovered 3 different
sizes of white plastic bags containing white granules. The bag also contained a weighing scale and a bamboo stick.
He placed his initials JV on the plastic sachets, the weighing scale and bamboo stick in the presence of the
barangay officials. He likewise prepared the Inventory Receipt, which was signed by the barangay officials. Petitioner,
however, refused to sign the Inventory Receipt. PO3 Villano turned over the seized items to a certain PO3
Molina.12 While in the police station, PO3 Villano prepared the return of the search warrant. He then brought the
Return of the Search Warrant, accompanied by the seized items, to the RTC of Naga City. The court ordered him to
bring them to the PNP Crime Laboratory for examination.
The trial court rendered judgment finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt for illegal possession of shabu.
The trial court ruled that the chain of custody over the illegal drugs seized was properly established. On appeal, the
Court of Appeals affirmed petitioners conviction. Petitioner highlights the manner of conducting the physical inventory
of the alleged drugs taken from petitioners house appeared to be irregular as the seized items were allowed to be
handled by persons not authorized to do so.
Issue:
whether the guilt of the accused has been established beyond reasonable doubt.
Held:
Yes. 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 the instant case, the chain
of custody of the seized illegal drugs was not broken. The prosecution established that PO3 Edrano recovered the
white plastic sachets, later on confirmed positive for traces of shabu. PO3 Edrano handed them over to PO3 Villano,
who made markings on the seized items and prepared an inventory of the same while inside petitioners house. It
was also shown that PO3 Villano brought the seized illegal drugs to the police station where he himself prepared the
inventory. While he presented the same to a certain PO3 Molina, it was still PO3 Villano and SPO4 Fabiano who first
brought the seized illegal drugs to the court, who in turn ordered him to bring it to the PNP Crime Laboratory. In the
letter request addressed to the forensic chemist, it was PO3 Villano who signed as the requesting party. Clearly
therefore, the recovery and handling of the seized illegal drugs were more than satisfactorily established in this case.

G.R. No. 199219

April 3, 2013

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,


vs.
GERRY OCTAVIO Y FLORENDO and REYNALDO CARIO Y MARTIR, Accused-Appellants.

Facts:
three (3) separate Informations against the accused-appellants were filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
Makati City for violations of R.A No. 9165. The accussed-appellants were apprehended by the Makati-Anti Drug
Abuse Council (MADAC) operatives during a buy-bust operation. Upon arraignment, both accused pleaded not guilty
to the offenses charged. After pre-trial, trial on the merits ensued. The RTC rendered a decision finding both accused
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged. It ruled that the evidence presented during the trial
adequately established that a valid buy-bust operation was conducted by the operatives of the MADAC, as well as
the SAID-SOTF, Makati City on 16 August 2007 upon proper coordination with the PDEA.On the other hand, accused
Octavio and Cario failed to present substantial evidence to establish their defense of frame-up. The CA affirmed the
decision of the RTC. Accused-appellants submit that the trial court failed to consider the procedural flaws committed
by the arresting officers in the seizure and custody of drugs as embodied in Section 21, paragraph 1, Article II, R.A.
No. 9165.14Accused-appellants allege that no photograph was taken of the items seized from them. Further,
Barangay Captain Del Prado, an elected public official, was not present during the alleged buy-bust operation. He
was only asked to sign the inventory of the seized items shortly after his arrival at the scene of the buy-bust
operation.
Issue: whether The court-a-quo gravely erred in finding the accused-appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime charged.
Held: No. there is nothing in the aforesaid law or its implementing rules which require the presence of the elected
public official during the buy-bust operation. It is enough that he is present during the physical inventory immediately
conducted after the seizure and confiscation of the drugs and he signs the copies of the inventory and is given a copy
thereof.
In his testimony, Barangay Captain Del Prado, not only positively identified both accused but also identified the items
contained in the inventory receipt. Such testimony clearly established compliance with the requirement of Section 21
with regard to the presence and participation of the elected public official.
Furthermore, this Court has consistently ruled that even if the arresting officers failed to take a photograph of the
seized drugs as required under Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165, such procedural lapse is not fatal and will not render the
items seized inadmissible in evidence.17 What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and
evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of
the accused.18 In other words, to be admissible in evidence, the prosecution must be able to present through
records or testimony, the whereabouts of the dangerous drugs from the time these were seized from the accused by
the arresting officers; turned-over to the investigating officer; forwarded to the laboratory for determination of their
composition; and up to the time these are offered in evidence. For as long as the chain of custody remains unbroken,
as in this case, even though the procedural requirements provided for in Sec. 21 of R.A. No. 9165 was not faithfully
observed, the guilt of the accused will not be affected.
Mercado vs CHED

GR 178630, November 27, 2012


Facts:

G.R. No. 186141

April 11, 2012

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,


vs.
JESUSA FIGUEROA y CORONADO, Accused-Appellant.

Facts:
Two informations were filed against the accused-appelant for violation of Section 26, Article II of Republic Act
No. 9165. Accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the crimes charged. The first case charged
accused of illegal possession of a total weight of nine point fourty [sic] two (9.42) grams of
Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu) which is a dangerous drug. The second case charged
her of willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attempt to sell, give away, distribute and deliver four point
sixty (4.60) grams of Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu) which is a dangerous drug, by then
and there agreeing to sell and deliver the said dangerous drug to the proposed buyer PO3
JOSEFINO CALLORA, thereby commencing the commission of the crime of sale of dangerous
drugs, but which nevertheless failed to consummate the said sale by reason of causes other than
her own spontaneous desistance, that is she got frightened by the presence of police officers at the
scene of the crime. The RTC acquitted accused on the first case for lack of evidence but convicted
her on the second case. Accused-appellant argues that the alleged sale transaction borne out by the
evidence of the prosecution was not between Police Officer 3 (PO3) Josefino Callora and accusedappellant Figueroa, but was instead between the latter and the unnamed informant. Accusedappellant concludes that the testimony of PO3 Callora regarding the alleged sale transaction is
purely hearsay, and therefore inadmissible and without probative value, as it was the informant
which is competent to testify on the alleged agreement to sell drugs.
Issue:
Whether the testimony of PO3 Callora is purely hearsay, and therefore, no probative value.
Held:
No. Under the doctrine of independently relevant statements, we have held that the hearsay rule
does not apply where only the fact that such statements were made is relevant, and the truth or
falsity thereof is immaterial.19 In the case at bar, the testimony of PO3 Callora as regards the
conversations between the informant and accused-appellant is admissible insofar as it established
that said information led the police officers to prepare for and proceed with the buy-bust operation.
The conversation between the informant and the accused-appellant was not necessary to prove the
attempted sale of shabu, as said attempt to sell was already clear from accused-appellants
actuations on July 2, 2004, which were all within the personal knowledge of PO3 Callora and
testified to by him.