The Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 264 has convicted three Chinese nationals involved in what by far is the biggest shabu haul in the country.
Meted three counts each of life imprisonment are Chen Wen De alias Jacky Tan, Wu Li Yong alias David Go, and Shi Gui Xiong alias Xiong. They are ordered to pay a fine of P30 million each.
Their co-accused Salim Arafat, Basher Jamal and Abdullah Jahmal were meted one count of life imprisonment each and a P10-million fine each.
The case stemmed from three consecutive raids conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation-Task Force Against Drugs and police operatives in three different locations–Mangga Street, Little Baguio, a fastfood joint in Annapolis, Greenhills and Bonifacio Street, all in San Juan on December 2016. All in all, authorities confiscated 793.238 kilograms of shabu.
“Based on the positive testimonies of the NBI operatives, the prosecution was able to establish and prove beyond reasonable doubt the transport and movement of the seized dangerous drugs…The NBI operatives had no ill motive against the accused for accusing them of such serious charge,” the court said.
The court added that the prosecution was also able to prove that the authorities has complied with the chain of custody on the inventory of the seized illegal drugs under Section 21 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. Under the law, failure to comply with Section 21 amounts to a dismissal of the case.
Not only did the authorities proved that there are representatives from the Department of Justice, Media, Barangay officials during the marking of seized items but the court noted that “the accused admitted and stipulated the confiscated drug items.”
“It is thus, evident that the identity of the corpus delicti has been properly preserved and established by the prosecution. Besides, the integrity of the evidence is presumed to be preserved unless there is a showing of bad faith, ill will or proof that the evidence was tampered or meddled with,” the court said.
The decision is written by acting Presiding Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada and promulgated Friday, Oct. 12. /jpv
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