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THE OFT-FORGOTTEN (DELIBERATELY IGNORED?

)
RULES THAT CAUSE DISMISSAL OF ILLEGAL
DRUGS CASES
April 2, 2011 at 8:44am

THE MOST COMMON GROUNDS CITED IN THE DISMISSAL OF ILLEGAL DRUGS CASES
ARE THE FAILURE OF POLICEMEN AND PDEA AGENTS (1) TO RESPECT THE SUSPECT’S
MIRANDA RIGHTS AND (2) OBSERVE THE RULES ON WARRANTLESS ARRESTS, (3) BUY-
BUST OPERATION AND (4) CHAIN OF CUSTODY OF EVIDENCE.

THE PNP AND THE PDEA SHOULD INTENSIVELY TRAIN THEIR RESPECTIVE OPERATIVES
ON THE PROPER OBSERVBANCE OF THOSE RULES, AND EVEN REQUIRE THEM TO
MEMORIZE THOSE RULES.

THE OPERATIVES MAY EVEN BE SUPPLIED WITH CARDS CONTAINING THOSE RULES,
WHICH WE WILL CALL (1) MIRANDA WARNING CARD, (2) VALID WARRANTLESS ARREST
CARD, (3) BUY-BUST OPERATION CARD AND (4) CHAIN OF CUSTODY CARD. IT WILL
GREATLY HELP IN MAKING OBSERVANCE OF THOSE RULES AN AUTOMATIC REFLEX.

The MIRANDA CARD should contain the following:

You have the right to remain silent.


Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to speak to an attorney.
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”

The VALID WARRANTLESS ARREST CARD should contain the following:

In Flagrante Delicto – When, in the officer’s presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit a crime. In other words, when the criminal is caught in the act of
committing a crime.

Personal knowledge – When a crime has just been committed and the officer has probable cause to believe
based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it. In other
words, when an officer knows some facts to make him believe that a crime was committed, such as in hot
pursuit.

Escapees – referring to detainees and prisoners who escape.

The BUY-BUST OPERATION CARD should contain the following:


A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which has been accepted as a valid means of arresting violators
of the Dangerous Drugs Law. But entrapment must be distinguished from inducement. In an entrapment, ways
and means are resorted to for the purpose of trapping and capturing the law breakers in the execution of their
criminal plan, whereas in instigation, the instigator practically induces the would-be defendant into the
commission of the offense, and himself becomes a co-principal. Entrapment is no bar to the prosecution and
conviction of the accused; in instigation, the defendant would have to be acquitted. Where the criminal intent
originates in the mind of the entrapping person and the accused is lured into the commission of the offense
charged in order to prosecute him, there is no entrapment and no conviction may be had.

The “objective” test in buy-bust operations demands that the details of the purported transaction must be
clearly and adequately shown. This must start from the initial contact between the poseur-buyer and the
pusher, the offer to purchase, the promise or payment of the consideration until the consummation of the sale
by the delivery of the illegal drug subject of the sale. The manner by which the initial contact was made,
whether or not through an informant, the offer to purchase the drug, the payment of the buy-bust money, and
the delivery of the illegal drug, whether to the informant alone or the police officer, must be the subject of
strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense.

In illegal sale of prohibited drug, the prosecution must establish the following elements: (1) the identity of the
buyer; (2) the identity of the seller; (3) the identity of the object (illegal drug); (4) the consideration (price); (5)
the delivery of the drug sold; and (6) the payment of the drug sold.

The CHAIN OF CUSTODY CARD should contain the following:

Immediately after seizure or confiscation, the illegal drug shall be


properly marked for identification, weighed (when possible) or counted, sealed, packed and labeled by the
apprehending officer or team;

Immediately after seizure or confiscation, the apprehending officer or team shall conduct an inventory and take
photographs of the illegal drug in the presence of the person from whom it was seized or confiscated, or his
counsel/representative, a representative from the media, from the Department of Justice and an elected public
official, and said personalities shall be required to sign and be given copies of the inventory report;

Only authorized persons shall be allowed to handle and have custody of the illegal drug, and all the movements
and custody thereof shall be recorded containing the identities and signatures of those who held temporary
custody thereof, the dates and times when the transfers of custody were made in the course of the disposition
of the illegal drug up to its presentation in Court;

Within twenty-four (24) hours from the time of seizure or confiscation of the illegal drug, it must be
submitted for laboratory examination, and the apprehending officer or team shall prepare a report of the
confiscation or seizure containing the (1) time, place and date of seizure, (2) the particulars of the persons
arrested, (3) the identities of the apprehending officer/s and all persons present, (4) the circumstances in which
the seizure took place, (5) a description of the vehicle, vessel, place or person searched and the location where
the substance was found, (6) a description of packaging, seals and other identifying features, (7) a description
of quantity, volume and units and the measurement method employed, (8) a description of the substance found,
(9) a description of any preliminary identification test used and results, (10) all subsequent movements of
the substance or chain of custody, and (11) any other matter prescribed by the PDEA; and

During the trial, the prosecution must authenticate the specimen evidence by observing the chain of custody
rule which requires that the admission of an exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding
that the matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be. It would include testimony about every link
in the chain, from the moment the item was picked up to the time it is offered into evidence, in such a way that
every person who touched the exhibit would describe how and from whom it was received, where it was
and what happened to it while in the witnesses' possession, the condition in which it was received and the
condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the chain. These witnesses would then describe the
precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of the item and no opportunity for
someone not in the chain to have possession of the same.