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Republic of the Philippines

NATIONAL CAPITAL JUDICIAL REGION


REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
Branch 82, Quezon City

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


Complainant,
Crim.
Case
No.
_____________
For Illegal Possession of
Dangerous Drugs
(Violation of Secs. 8, 11
of RA 9165)

-versus-

LT. COL. FERDINAND MARCELINO


Accused.
x----------------------------------x

DECISION
At bar are the above captioned cases charging Lt. Col.
Ferdinand Marcelino (Marcelino) with conspiracy to
manufacture and possession of illegal drugs in violation of
Republic Act No. 9165 otherwise known as the
Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002.
I
The antecedent facts of the case which are not disputed, are
as follows:
On the afternoon of 21 January 2016, Lt. Col. Ferdinand
Marcelino together with Yan Yi Shou (Yan), a Chinese national
was arrested in a raid at Celadon Residences
on
Felix
Huertas Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila, conducted by the joint
forces of Philippine National Police - Anti-illegal Drugs Group
(PNP-AIDG) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Marcelino spent the night at Camp Crame and was brought


to the Department of Justice 11 a.m the following day to
undergo inquest proceeding. He requested a preliminary
investigation waived his right to speedy disposition of case
thru inquest proceeding and right against illegal detention
under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code which provides:
Art. 125. Delay in the delivery of detained persons
to the proper judicial authorities. The penalties privided
in the next preceeding article shall be imposed upon
the public officer or employee who shall detain any
persons to the proper judicial authorities within the
period of six hours, for crimes or offenses punishable by
correctional penalties, or their equivalent; and eighteen
hours, for crimes or offenses punishable by afflictive or
capital penalties, or their equivalent.
After preliminary investigation, Senior Deputy Prosecutor
Theodore Villanueva issued a Resolution dated 4 March 2016
recommending the filing of an Information against the
accused. Prosecutor Villanueva did not give credence to
petitioners unsubstantiated claim that this is a misencounter and that he was on a mission order doing
surveillance on the laboratory when he was arrested. He said
that the defenses and accusation of petitioner were matters
of defense that should be threshed out in court. He further
averred that
In the face of the laboratory findings that the white
crystalline substance weighing 64 kilograms, which
appears to have been taken from the possession of the
accused
is
positive
for
methylamphetamine
hydrochloride, a regulated drug, and the inability of the
accused to present a mission order or any document
showing his presence in the facility was a part of a
legitimate operation, the undersigned investigating
prosecutor finds sufficient ground to engender a wellfounded belief that the crime charged has been
committed in and that the acused is probably guilty and
should, therefore, be held for trial.
An Information was subsequently filed against the accused
on 18 March 2016 reads as follows:

That on the 21st day of January 2016, at a storage facility in


Mahogany Street, Celadon Residences, Felix Huertas corner
Batangas Streets in Sta. Cruz, Manila and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed
accused, LT. COL. FERDINAND MARCELINO, a public officer,
having been duly appointed and qualified to such public
position as Lieutenant Colonel of the Philippine Navy (PN)
assigned as the Superintendent of the Naval Officer
Candidate School (NOCS), not being authorized by law, did
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
manufactured and have in his possession, control and
custody, 64 kilograms of Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride
(shabu), a dangerous drug.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
Upon arraignment, appellant, assisted by counsel de parte,
pleaded NOT GUILTY to the charges. After the termination of
the pre-trial conference, trial on merits ensued.
II
The factual rendition of the prosecution follows:
On 21 January, acting on the tip of a confidential informer
(C.I.) or asset, a team from PNP-AIDG and PDEA went to a
storage facility in Celadon Residences on Felix Huertas street
in Sta. Cruz, Manila, in pursuit of Lo Chi, Atong Lee and a
certain Chu, who were the original targets of the raid. This
was conducted by virtue of a search warrant issued by
Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Fernando Sagun who was
engaged in selling marijuana to students and adults alike.
The prosecution was able to present two (2) witnesses, PO3
Adrian Galang and IO1 Ronald Gogoc who both gave a
witness account of the drug buy-bust itself. Both Galang and
Gococ recalled that Marcelino was found sitting on a couch
when the agents arrived at the storage facility. Several bags
of shabu, initially estimated to be weighing 76 kilogram and
worth 383 million, and manufacturing paraphernalia were
found in the scene. After apprehending Marcelino and Yan,
the operatives immediately started a hunt for other
personalities linked to the operation of the busted shabu
laboratory.
The prosecution presented the following as evidence:

1. The stuffs seized during the raid, which was marked as


Exhibit "A" was turned over to the PC/INP Crime
Laboratory, Camp Crame, for analysis. 5 Lauena
Layador, Assistant Chief of the Chemistry Branch of
PC/INP Crime Laboratory Service conducted at
microscopic,
chemical
and
chromatographic
examination, to determine whether the specimen
submitted contain Methylamphetamine Hydrochloride.
2. The report, marked as Exhibit "B" confirms the fact that
the stuff was shabu.
3. The key to the laboratory, marked as Exhibit C, found from both
Marcelino and Yan.
4. The mission order, marked as Exhibit D, issued by
Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (ISAFP) former chief and now Army chief Lt.
Gen. Eduardo Ao to Marcelino but it had lapsed in 2014.

In defense, the accused provided a different version of the


incident.
The accused denied possessing or being
manufacturing shabu in the storage/laboratory
January 2016. He claims that he was working
order as part of the operation Oplan Moses
and named Lt. Gen. Ao as his handler.

involved in
raided on 21
on a mission
of the ISAFP

The Armys Intelligence Service group (ISG) issued a


certification signed by Col. Mario Guloy, marked as Exhibit 1,
that Marcelino has been sharing intelligence information with
the unit from September to December 2015 on illegal drug
activities.
III
Upon careful examination of the foregoing facts and
circumstances, the accuseds twin defense of denial and
frame-up, which were uncorroborated by any positive
testimony of the people who allegedly authorized him, must
fail.

Thus, between the positive assertions of the witnesses for


the prosecution and the negative averments of Marcelino,
the former undisputedly deserves more credence and are
entitled to greater evidentiary value. As provided in People v.
Alhambra, 233 SCRA 604.
Credence shall be given to the narration of the incident
by the prosecution witnesses especially when they are
police officers who are presumed to have performed
their duties in a regular manner, unless there be
evidence to the contrary; moreover in the absence of
proof of motive to falsely impute such a serious crime
against appellant, the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official duty, as well as the findings of
the trial court on the credibility of witnesses, shall
prevail over appellant's self-serving and uncorroborated
claim of having been framed.
And People vs. Tancinco, 93 SCRA 575.
The defense of denial or frame-up, like alibi, has been
viewed with disfavor for it can easily be concocted and
is a common defense ploy in most prosecutions for
violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Denial is a weak
form of defense, particularly when it is not
substantiated by clear and convincing evidence just like
in the case before us.
IV
Turning now on the imposable penalty. The penalty for the
illegal possession and manufacturing of dangerous drugs,
like shabu, is explicitly provided for in the following
provisions of Repubic Act. 9165 otherwise known as
Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002.

Section 8 of Republic Act No. 9165.

Section 8. Manufacture of Dangerous Drugs and/or


Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. - The
penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging
Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten

million pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon


any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall
engage in the manufacture of any dangerous drug.

The presence of any controlled precursor and essential


chemical or laboratory equipment in the clandestine
laboratory is a prima facie proof of manufacture of any
dangerous drug. It shall be considered an aggravating
circumstance
if
the
clandestine
laboratory
is
undertaken or established under the following
circumstances:

(a) Any phase of the manufacturing process was


conducted in the presence or with the help of minor/s:
(b) Any phase or manufacturing process was
established or undertaken within one hundred (100)
meters of a residential, business, church or school
premises;
(c) Any clandestine laboratory was secured or protected
with booby traps;
(d) Any clandestine laboratory was concealed with
legitimate business operations; or
(e) Any employment of a practitioner,
engineer, public official or foreigner.

chemical

Section 11 of R.A. No. 9165 which pertinently provides that:

Sec. 11. Possession of Dangerous Drugs. The penalty


of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from
Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten
million pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon
any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall
possess any dangerous drug in the following quantities,
regardless of the degree of purity thereof:

xxxx
Otherwise, if the quantity involved is less than the
foregoing quantities, the penalties shall be graduated
as follows:
xxxx
(3) Imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day
to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from Three
hundred thousand pesos (P300,000.00) to Four hundred
thousand pesos (P400,000.00), if the quantities of
dangerous drugs are less than five (5) grams of opium,
morphine, heroin, cocaine, or cocaine hydrochloride,
marijuana
resin
or
marijuana
resin
oil,
methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu," or other
dangerous drugs such as, but not limited to, MDMA or
"ecstacy," PMA, TMA, LSD, GHB, and those similarly
designed or newly introduced drugs and their
derivatives, without having any therapeutic value or if
the quantity possessed is far beyond therapeutic
requirements; or three hundred (300) grams or more
but less than five hundred (500) grams of marijuana.

The elements of the offense of illegal possession of


dangerous drugs, are the following: first, the accused was in
possession of an item or object, which is identified to be a
prohibited or dangerous drug; second, such possession was
not authorized by law; and third, the accused freely and
consciously possessed the drug.

Lastly, Section 28 of R.A. No. 9165 which provides that:

Section 28. Criminal Liability of Government Officials


and Employees. The maximum penalties of the
unlawful acts provided for in this Act shall be imposed,
in addition to absolute perpetual disqualification from
any public office, if those found guilty of such unlawful
acts are government officials and employees.

WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing facts and


circumstances,
the
Accused,
LT.
COL.
FERDINAND
MARCELINO, GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT of
violation of Sec. 8, 11, and 28 in REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9165,
otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs
Act of 2002, and imposes upon him the maximum penalty
of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and to pay a fine of TEN MILLION
PESOS (PhP10,000,000.00).
March 31, 2016
SO ORDERED

Signed: Judge Dredd