LEGAL NOTE 0022: HOW DO YOU PROVE ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF DANGEROUS DRUGS.

 

SOURCE: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. CARLO MAGNO AURE Y ARNALDO AND MELCHOR AUSTRIACO Y AGUILA (G.R. NO. 185163, 17 JANUARY 2011, VELASCO, JR., J.) SUBJECTS: ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF DANGEROUS DRUGS; ILLEGAL SALE OF PROHIBITED DRUGS; ELEMENTS AND HOW PROVEN. (SUBJECT: PEOPLE VS. AURE ET AL)

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HOW DO YOU PROVE ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF DANGEROUS DRUGS?

 

THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS ARE:

 

(1) THE ACCUSED IS IN POSSESSION OF AN ITEM OR OBJECT WHICH IS IDENTIFIED TO BE A PROHIBITED DRUG;

 

(2) SUCH POSSESSION IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW; AND

 

(3) THE ACCUSED FREELY AND CONSCIOUSLY POSSESSED THE SAID DRUG.[1][40] 

Ruled the Supreme Court in the above-stated case:

As regards the charge of illegal possession of dangerous drugs under Sec. 11, Art. II of RA 9165 against accused-appellant Aure, We also find that the elements of the offense have been established by the evidence of the prosecution.

The elements necessary for the prosecution of illegal possession of dangerous drugs are: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug.[2][40]

In the instant case, a brown bag was found inside the car of accused-appellant Aure.  It yielded a plastic sachet of shabu weighing 86.23 grams wrapped in red wrapping paper, small plastic sachets, and an improvised plastic tooter.  Considering that during the sale to Bilason, it was from the same bag that accused-appellant Austriaco took the sachet of shabu, per order of accused-appellant Aure, the owner-possessor of said bag and its contents is no other than accused-appellant Aure, who has not shown any proof that he was duly authorized by law to possess them or any evidence to rebut his animus possidendi of the shabu found in his car during the buy-bust operation.

 

Defense of denial is inherently weak

 

The sachet containing the dangerous drug was positively identified by MADAC operative Bilason during the trial as the very sachet with white crystalline substance sold and delivered to him by accused-appellants. Thus, accused-appellants’ denial is self-serving and has little weight in law. A bare denial is an inherently weak defense,[3][41] and has been invariably viewed by this Court with disfavor, for it can be easily concocted but difficult to prove, and is a common standard line of defense in most prosecutions arising from violations of RA 9165.[4][42]

Time and again, We have held that “denials unsubstantiated by convincing evidence are not enough to engender reasonable doubt particularly where the prosecution presents sufficiently telling proof of guilt.”[5][43]

In the absence of any intent on the part of the police authorities to falsely impute such crime against the accused-appellants, the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty stands.[6][44]  Especially here, where an astute analysis of MADAC operative Bilason’s testimony does not indicate any inconsistency, contradiction, or fabrication.


[1][40] People v. Gutierrez, G.R. No. 177777, December 4, 2009, 607 SCRA 377, 390-391; citing People v. Pringas, G.R. No. 175928, August 31, 2007, 531 SCRA 828, 846.

[2][40] People v. Gutierrez, G.R. No. 177777, December 4, 2009, 607 SCRA 377, 390-391; citing People v. Pringas, G.R. No. 175928, August 31, 2007, 531 SCRA 828, 846.

[3][41] People v. Dulay, G.R. No. 150624, February 24, 2004, 423 SCRA 652, 662; citing People v. Arlee, G.R. No. 113518, January 25, 2000, 323 SCRA 201, 214.

[4][42] People v. Barita, G.R. No. 123541, February 8, 2000, 325 SCRA 22, 38.

[5][43] People v. Eugenio, G.R. No. 146805, January 16, 2003, 395 SCRA 317, 326; citing People v. Del Mundo, G.R. No. 138929, October 2, 2001, 366 SCRA 471.

[6][44] People v. Cruz, G.R. No. 185381, December 16, 2009, 608 SCRA 350, 368.