Virac man gets 14 years in jail for 5 sachets of shabu
posted 3-Feb-2019  ·  
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A resident of Palnab del Norte in Virac has been sentenced to imprisonment of 12 to 14 years for violation of Sec. 11 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, more than a year after a police search of his house turned up five sachets of shabu.

In a decision rendered last week, the Regional Trial Court Branch 43 also ordered Johnny Sambajon de Leon, also known as “Tom Jones de Leon”, to pay a fine of P300,000, with the illegal drug weighing a total of 0.153 gram confiscated for disposal according to law.

Information filed before the Court showed that after Judge Lelu P. Contreras issued Search Warrant No. 2017-30 against de Leon, then Virac police OIC Chief Inspector Josefino Titong briefed members of the raiding team at 1 A.M. of July 8, 2017.

At 2:30 A.M., the police arrived at the area and secured the perimeter, with deputy police chief Senior Inspector Ariel Buraga reading the warrant to de Leon, who was asleep with his wife and two children before the team knocked on the door.

A search of the house in the presence of barangay officials led to the discovery of a Wriggles Double Mint plastic canister under a pillow in the living room where the family slept.

The canister contained five small plastic sachets containing white crystalline granules which were determined by the Regional Crime Laboratory Office to be methamphetamine hydrochloride.

In his defense, de Leon insinuated that the drugs were planted by a plainclothes policeman who entered the house before the search commenced. His version of the events was supported by his wife, who claimed that the police searcher no longer bothered to inspect their comfort room or bedrooms after finding the canister.

Judge Contreras, however, was not convinced as de Leon himself and a daughter averred in his counter-affidavit that the police searched his children’s bedroom, kitchen and other areas of the house.

As to his wife’s claim that the canister were found underneath the pillow of her youngest child who was then asleep, the Court said it finds incredible for the police to place the canister under the pillow of the sleeping child, considering that the living room was well-lighted and both his parents were able to see him by the window.

It added that if de Leon entertained doubt that the officer planted the illegal drugs inside his house, he should have voiced out his complaint immediately upon his discovery to the barangay officials. It noted that the Certificate of Orderly Search, which de Leon signed, clearly stated that they did not have any complaint whatsoever against any member of the PNP who conducted the search.

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