Virac couple gets life term for running drug den, possession
posted 8-Oct-2018  ·  
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A resident of Palnab del Norte, Virac and his live-in partner were sentenced to life imprisonment and told to pay a fine of P500,000.00 each for maintaining a drug den.

The Regional Trial Court also found Aran “Nonon” Vallador and Cory de Florencia guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia in violation of Republic Act 9165 and meted them six months to two years in prison and to pay a fine of P10,000.00.

It may be recalled that on June 24, 2015, a search warrant was served by the Virac police at Ballador’s residence where the woman was left with their 5 children and two workers repairing the wall of the house, as Ballador had run away with a neighbor after the latter noticed the presence of the lawmen.

A search of the house, including a small room adjacent to the kitchen, resulted in the seizure of plastic sachets with shabu residue, bamboo sealer, improvised gutter with residue, rolled aluminum foil, empty plastic sachets, and two cellphones. Ballador was later arrested at SIV Lodge.

In his defense, Ballador, who said he earned P500 a day as a baggage boy at the public market, admitted that he had been using drugs for five years before his arrest and that he usually bought a small sachet worth P300 which he consumed for a day.

On the other hand, de Florencia said that she did not know that her husband had drug paraphernalia and that no one but Aran occupied the small room where the items were found.

Then barangay chairman Natividad Toledo bolstered the case against the couple when she testified that months earlier, she had advised Ballador to stop the illegal drug activity and that twice Cory and a cousin of her husband went to her to seek advice regarding Aran’s vice.

In finding the couple guilty, the Court said it found incredible the woman’s claim that sometimes the family slept in the small room, considering that there is a much bigger bedroom in the house.

On Aran’s earlier affirmation that he was not afraid of the police, the Court stated it could not believe that Ballador simply went along with his neighbor and ran away, when he did not know yet that the police will be implementing a search warrant.

Cory could not feign ignorance of the presence of drug paraphernalia in the house or of the fact the drugs were ingested inside the small room since she had no work and stayed in the house attending to the needs of her family.

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