The Supreme Court has upheld the two jail terms imposed by the trial court and sustained by the Court of Appeals on the accused who was arrested for selling shabu to a police officer in a buy-bust operation in 2015.
In a resolution made public last July 30, the SC dismissed the appeal of Noralyn Sariol Luma as it affirmed the CA’s ruling that convicted her of violations of Sections 5 (sale) and 11 (possession) of Article II of RA 9165.
After her arrest, confiscated from Luma were 13 more plastic sachets containing 6.80 grams of shabu (Methamphetamine Hydrochloride), a dangerous drug.
The Davao City Regional Trial Court convicted Luma of violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 under Republic Act No. 9165.
On October 30, 2019, the appellate court in Mindanao based in Cagayan de Oro City upheld the trial court’s decision. The case was elevated to the SC.
In ruling agaist Luma, the SC stressed that both the RTC and the CA correctly ruled that “all the respective elements of the crimes are present in this case.”
“The prosecution clearly established that, during a legitimate buy-bust operation conducted by law enforcement operatives of the San Pedro Police Station in Davao City, accused-appellant (Luma) was caught in flagrante delicto selling a plastic sachet containing 0.1835 gram of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, or shabu, to the designated poseur-buyer, Police Officer (PO) 3 Gerry R. Tudlasan (PO3 Tudlasan),” the SC ruled.
The high court said that when Luma was “searched upon arrest, thirteen (13) more plastic sachets containing a total of 6.8096 grams of the same substance were recovered from her possession.”
At the same time, the SC said that “all the links of the chain of custody were likewise established, considering that: (a) PO3 Tudlasan had custody of the seized items from the moment of seizure, conducted the marking, inventory, and photography in the presence of accused-appellant herself, as well as the required witnesses, and finally, turned over the seized items to PO2 Perfecto Tuloy at the police station for recording purposes.” Rey E. Requejo
“After recording, PO2 Tuloy gave the seized items back to PO3 Tudlasan, who then brought the same to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory, where they were received by PO2 Jeffrey Cabalon and then turned over to Police Senior Inspector April Dela Rosa Fabian (PSI Fabian), the expert forensic chemist,” the SC ruled.
“After examination, PSI Fabian turned over the seized items to PO3 Bernadine Magallanes, the evidence custodian, who stored them until they were duly presented in court for identification,” it said.
In upholding the CA judgment, the SC sustained the life sentence imposed against Luma for two illegal drug cases with the penalty of imprisonment for a period of twenty (20) years and one (1) day to thirty (30) years, and a fine in the amount of P400,000. Rey E. Requejo