Valladolid town resident
acquitted of drug charge
The Regional Trial Court Branch 62 in Bago City aquitted a resident of Valladolid, Negros Occidental, of charges for the sale of suspected shabu, after finding that the “chain of custody” requirement in buy-bust operation had not been satisfied.
RTC Branch 62 Judge Frances Guanzon, in her order dated August 31, 2011, a copy of which was furnished the DAILY STAR yesterday, also found reasonable doubt and ordered the immediate release of accused Rolly Lumapan from the Negros Occidental District Jail in Brgy. Tabunan, in Bago.
Lumapan, assisted by lawyer Rommel Gabuya of the Public Attorney’s Office, stood trial for the sale of a sachet of suspected shabu to policemen on Feb. 26, 2006 in Valladolid.
Although it gave credence to the testimonies of the apprehending police officers for having presumably performed their duties in a regular manner, and not giving weight to the alibi and denial of the accused, the court said, it considered the non-identification of the prosecution’s witness of the one sachet of shabu submitted for examination as the same one sachet of shabu sold by the accused to the poseur-buyer as fatal to the case of the prosecution.
The court also pointed out that due to the built-in danger of abuse that the buy-bust operation carries, it is governed by specific procedures on the seizure and custody of drugs.
It further said that records of the case would show that no physical inventory and photograph of the seized item was done in the presence of the accused, in violation of the prevailing anti-drugs law.
While the apprehending officers testified that one of them made markings on the sachet of shabu, the court said that the markings were never identified in the specimen submitted for laboratory examination to show that the specimen examined by the forensic chemist was the same sachet of shabu sold by the accused to the poseur-buyer.*GCT
Man in motorcycle
The driver involved in a motorcycle accident in Brgy. Guilhungan, in Cauayan, Negros Occidental, Thursday night, was not only injured, but was also arrested.
This is because the driver, identified as Ryan Hemongala, 25, of Sipalay City, was driving a motorcycle he allegedly stole from Kagawad Edwin Espinosa of Brgy. Delicioso, Ilog, that day, Chief Inspector Romeo Leyte, newly-designated Cauayan police officer-in-charge, said.
Investigations by the Cauayan police showed that the motorcycle owned by Espinosa had been stolen earlier in Brgy. Delicioso, Ilog, and the incident had been reported to the town police.
Leyte said Hemongala, who has been residing in Brgy. Delicioso for almost a year now had been on his way to Sipalay, when the accident took place.
Hemongala was brought by the police to the Cauayan District Hospital for treatment of his injuries, and he is being guarded by a policeman to prevent his escape.
Meanwhile, two suspects were arrested Wednesday by the police in barangays Sampinit and Abuanan in Bago City, for violation of Republic Act 9287, or the amended illegal gambling law, Chief Insp. Simeon Gane, said.
Gane, Bago police officer-in-charge, said the arrest of Hermie Flores, 60, an alleged bet solicitor of “jai-alai” outfit led to the confiscation of assorted illegal gambling paraphernalia and P70 in alleged cash bets.
Romeo Baylon, 62, was also apprehended in Brgy. Abuanan, Bago, by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by Judge Frances Guanzon, for violation of RA 9287.
Guanzon has recommended P20,000 as bail for Baylon.*GPB
5 barkers apprehended by police
Five barkers, or those calling for passengers to ride public utility vehicles, were apprehended by Station 1 policemen at the Bacolod City downtown area at about 4:50 p.m. Thursday.
Those arrested were identified as Mar Criz Federez, 31, of Purok Dawis in Brgy. 14; Chris Stephen Jalandon, 40, of Purok Adarna in Brgy. 16; Jesse Balves, 26, of Purok Santo Niño in Brgy. Handumanan; Roberto Vargas, 41, of Purok Lerio in Brgy. Taculing; and Giovani Rivera, 42, of Brgy. Sum-ag, all in Bacolod.
Station 1 commander, Chief Insp. Ulysses Ortiz, said the apprehensions were made by a team led by Police Officer 3 Wilfredo Perez who were on patrol.
The police seized P50 in cash from the barkers upon their arrest, police records showed.
Bacolod City police director, Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz, said this shows that there has been no let-up in their drive against barkers in the city.
De la Paz said drivers of public utility vehicles are complaining because they could not raise their expected income, as the barkers are forcing them to give them money.
He said the barkers must be arrested because what they are doing is extortion, and an existing city ordinance bars them from the main thoroughfares of Bacolod.
All apprehended barkers will be detained and will face appropriate charges, de la Paz warned.*APN