Butcher caught with marijuana gets 14 years in jail, P300k fine
posted 10-Dec-2019  ·  
891 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

The Regional Trial Court has sentenced a Virac butcher to a lengthy stay in jail, plus a P300,000 fine to be paid to the government, after being found guilty of marijuana possession recently.

Despite unanswered questions on his arrest, Philip Agunday Matienzo failed to convince the Court that he was frisked by a police office while being brought to the station on board a police car.

Records show that on April 30, 3019, Matienzo was in barangay Buenavista on the eve of its fiesta when he allegedly created trouble by boxing one Pedro Taule and then running inside a house carrying a bolo.

Barangay chairman Salvador Romero called for police assistance, with lawmen arresting the butcher inside the house.

On the way to the police station, barangay tanod Aris Valeza was asked to accompany the suspect on board the car.

After turning Matienzo over to the police, Valeza searched him and recovered a piece of transparent plastic that contained dried leaves from the back pocket of Matienzo’s short pants. A laboratory examination confirmed that the leaves were marijuana, with a total weight of 0.7782 gram.

The suspect later tested negative for the presence of a dangerous drug in his system.

In his counter-affidavit, the accused wondered why he was frisked by an unidentified lawman while on board the car and questioned the procedure of the search.

Noting this, Judge Lelu P. Contreras said several questions remained unanswered regarding Matienzo’s arrest.

Aside from the absence of any indication that the police arrested Matienzo at the place of the incident, the Court wondered why he was not body-searched right there in the presence of barangay officials.

It also took note that it was tanod Valeza who conducted a body search on Matienzo when he was already under the custody of the police station, providing a reason for the accused to question the arrest procedure.

In finding the butcher guilty of illegal possession of dangerous drugs, Judge Contreras said it was inconceivable for the police to put the plastic sachet of dried marijuana inside Matienzo’s pocket as the latter was not known to the officers, he had no record at the station, and there was no confrontation between him and the officers prior to the incident.

The negative result of the drug test on the urine sample taken from Matienzo will not exculpate him from the charge, stressed Judge Contreras.

She added that his offer to enter into plea bargaining at the early stage of the proceedings, is tantamount to a compromise, which may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt.


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