Drug rehab graduate guilty of 2016 shabu possession
Caramoran, Catanduanes  ·  
posted 3-Nov-2019  ·  
581 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

Less than two months after completing a community-based treatment and rehabilitation program for low-risk drug users, a resident of Caramoran has been convicted of possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia in connection with a police search of his house in 2016.

Argie Gurrobat Sales, a lapu-lapu fish “screener” in Palumbanes island, failed to convince the Regional Trial Court that the 10 small sachets of shabu and various non-drug items seized from his house were planted by the police during the June 23, 2016 raid on his home.

For the drug possession charge, RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras sentenced Sales to imprisonment ranging from 12 years and one day as minimum to 14 years as maximum, and to pay a fine of P300,000.

He was also meted an extra six months to two years in prison and to pay a P10,000 fine for the drug paraphernalia.

Information filed before the Court stated that after securing a search warrant from the RTC, a composite team from the Caramoran police station, the Catanduanes Police Public Safety Company, and the Provincial Intelligence Branch surrounded the Sales residence at 2:30 A.M. of June 14, 2016.

During the search that followed, the police found 28 empty plastic sachets in a red plastic tray, two more empty sachets, an improvised tooter; an eyeglass case containing a flame adjuster, improvised tooter and other items; and, a camera case that contained, among others, three lighters, glass tooter, aluminum foil, 15 empty plastic sachets, and a matchbox that has 10 small plastic sachets containing white crystalline granules that proved to be shabu. The police also seized as evidence two cellphones.

In his defense, Sales denied owning the camera case and alleged that the plastics “scattered on the floor” were brought by his children from the house of their grandparents.

During cross-examination, however, the accused confirmed that text messages recovered from his cellphone were sent by his wife, listed in the phone contact list as “AgOm Q.”

Among the text messages was: “gahanap ka na papa, magyngat2 ka ta grbi dang pedea ua sv ni ninong bnji.”

The other cellphone also yielded deleted messages to CP number 09180000101, among which were: “Nang hus2 dang my ma raid da ua sato??”; “sabi ni iking, pinahari da cla ni ninOng bnji ta ikan dang maraid ua sato, bka cgro madamay su bOdga”; “txt mu nlng tb nang ninong bnji f hus2 man tram ni king, mi nadaw aq nang!2rog ning g!bo na 2ng problema ni rj.”

Judge Contreras also pointed out that there were no “plastics scattered on the floor” as the 28 empty plastic sachets were found in a plastic tray.

Sales also failed to explain the drug paraphernalia found in the eyeglass case inside the Orocan drawer. A drug dependency examination also showed that he admitted using shabu since 2014, once a week, costing him P300 per session.

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