The Regional Trial Court Branch 30, designated by the Supreme Court as a special court to exclusively try and hear cases involving violation of Republic Act No. 9165, has convicted 68 drug dealers in Dumaguete City, 20 of whom were meted life imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of P500,000, for year 2010.
The special court has also acquitted 32 persons accused of various drug-related offenses based on reasonable doubt, and has also dismissed 10 drug cases for insufficiency of evidence, when the court granted the demurrer to evidence filed by the accused.
All those convicted, except those with penalties less than six years, were immediately ordered incarcerated at the Bureau of Corrections, Muntinlupa City or the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City. Only 21 of those convicted had appealed their convictions with the Court of Appeals.
In 2010, 124 new cases were filed with the special court, which has raised the pending drug cases of the court to 304 as of December 31, 2010, which is, however, less by 34 cases compared to the 338 pending cases as of December 31, 2009. Five cases were archived in 2010 as the accused were nowhere to be found, in spite of the warrants of arrest issued against them.
The special court has an average disposal rate of 13.5 cases per month for 2010, or 1.22 cases disposed every two working days. Based on the ideal ratio of 1:1 required by the Supreme Court, which is for every case filed, there must be a corresponding case disposed, the Special Court has managed to achieve more than this ratio.
Judge Marie Rose Inocando-Paras presided over the special court during the first semester of 2010, while Judge Rafael Crescencio Tan Jr. returned to the Court during the second semester that year.*RG
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