Virac man found guilty in illegal drugs case
posted 5-Jun-2019  ·  
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A resident of San Isidro Village in Virac has been sentenced by the Regional Trial Court to more than 16 years in jail and a fine of P310,000 after he was found guilty of illegal possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia.

RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras ordered Syder “Don-Don” Rubiano Basilio to suffer imprisonment of 12 years and one day as minimum to 14 years, eight months and one day as maximum for the illegal drugs charge and to pay a fine of P300,000.

For the drug paraphernalia charge, Basilio was ordered jailed for six months and one day as minimum to two years as maximum and to pay a fine of P10,000.

The Court, however, acquitted him of the third charge for maintenance of drug den due to insufficient evidence.

The cases stemmed from the implementation of a search warrant obtained by the Virac police against Basilio and his brother Xander on May 29, 2016.

A team from the station led by then Inspector Darwin Sevilla proceeded to the house of the suspects where the police officer knocked on the door and asked Syder, who was the only one in the house, to come out.

A body search on the suspect yielded an improvised bamboo sealer, two lighters and an improvised aluminum flame adjuster.

Inside the house, the police found 91 pieces of unused, big plastic sachets, 154 unused medium plastic sachets, 33 pieces of crumpled aluminum foil, cut portions of plastic sachets with white residue, 13 pieces of plastic sachets with white crystalline substance, 14 other pieces of plastic sachets, rolled aluminum foil, aluminum foil gutter, and two cellphones.

Basilio refused to receive a copy of the warrant as well as sign the certification of orderly search. The 13 pieces of plastic sachets later proved positive for the presence of shabu at a total weight of 0.193 gram.

During the trial, the accused declared that PO1 Vincent Tacorda, who was asking him to become an asset, was with him at the time and was inside the house when Syder came out.

He claimed that no illegal items were found during the body search and denied ownership of the matchbox containing the drug items.

In its decision, the Court said it is not convinced by Basilio’s suspicion that the items seized from him were planted either by PO1 Tacorda or by another person.

It noted that he admitted using drugs and that he used drugs on the morning of the day his house was searched.

Judge Contreras pointed out that the drug paraphernalia found inside his pocket could not have been planted.

“If this drug paraphernalia were in Syder’s actual possession, it is not farfetched that other drug paraphernalia were inside his house,” the Court stressed, adding that he failed to show proof of any motive on the part of the police officers to impute falsely against him a crime as serious as violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

In dropping the drug den charge, the Court said no other evidence, aside from the seized drugs and drug paraphernalia, was presented to clearly show that the house is, indeed, being used as a drug den.

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