By By Fernan A. Gianan
Death threats made after Besa acquittal?
posted 24-Sep-2019  ·  
1,273 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

There are unconfirmed reports that certain police personalities and witnesses in a 2013 buy-bust operation that netted Samuel “Tamenz” Besa Jr. have received death threats.

The nature of the threats or its actual wording has yet to surface as even the Catanduanes Police Provincial Office has not received any report on the matter.

No less than PNP provincial director Col. Paul Abay has denied knowledge of such a report.

He said the concerned police officer or witness should just take extra precaution in case whoever sent the threat decides to push it through.

The report prompted PD Abay to express his full support for the House Bill 7233, or the proposed Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act.

Recently, some congressman renewed their call for owners of mobile phones to have their SIM cards registered, which could be a big deterrent to crime, cyber or otherwise.

They, along with police officials like PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, said it would also discourage trolling and bullying on social media.

The bill’s supporters believe that the time is ripe for a SIM card registration law as the country is set to roll out the national ID system in several pilot areas, including Metro Manila.

In Europe, SIM registration is mandated so the cellphone owners have permanent numbers which is also portable or can be transferred to another service provider.

This is not an assault on the right to privacy, PD Abay told this writer, as the government, if it wants, can monitor the activity of any cellular phone or communication device whether registered or not.

“Pati yung mga scams na yan, mawawala yan,” he stressed, noting that perpetrators of bullying o cellphone –based scams have been hiding under the anonymity of SIM cards.

*****

Besa Jr. was recently released after the Court of Appeals overturned his conviction of alleged drug pusher Samuel Besa Jr., after it found that his arrest by the police during a 2013 buy-bust operation breached procedure.

In a decision that was rendered June 14, 2019, the CA’s 12th Division granted the instant appeal filed by Besa and set aside the judgment of the Regional Trial Court Branch 43 of Virac in Criminal Case No. 4922.

Besa was acquitted of the crime charged on the ground of reasonable doubt and was ordered immediately released from detention at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

It may be recalled that in March 2017, RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras sentenced Besa Jr,, also known as Tamenz, to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500,000 for selling shabu to a poseur-buyer in a buy-bust operation conducted by the police in November 2013.

While attempting to run back to his house, he ran into a steel post and was brought to the hospital. Subsequently, he was not present during the inventory of the evidence seized from him.

“It has been held that the immediate marking and conduct of physical inventory after seizure and confiscation in full view of the accused and the required witnesses cannot be brushed aside as a simple procedural technicality,” Associate Justice Victoria Isabel Paredes stated.

The appeals court also noted that the marking of inventory took three hours from the buy-bust operation, with the seized sachet of shabu remaining in the hands of a civilian informant for the whole duration.

“While it was stipulated that the appellant was rushed to the hospital after the buy-bust, such is no excuse for the late marking of the plastic sachet of shabu allegedly subject of the sale,” it said, adding that none of the policemen who testified explained the issue.

“We are impelled to conclude that there has been an unjustified breach of procedure and hence, the integrity and evidentiary value of the corpus delicti had been compromised. Consequently, appellant's acquittal is in order,” it stressed.

*****

PAYING IN ADVANCE. A motorist, driving by a Texas ranch, hit and killed a calf that was crossing the road. The driver went to the owner of the calf and explained what had happened. He then asked what the animal was worth.

"Oh, about $200 today," said the rancher. "But in six years it would have been worth $900. So $900 is what I'm out."

The motorist sat down and wrote out a check and handed it to the farmer.

"Here," he said, "is the check for $900. It's postdated six years from now.”


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