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People vs. Santos
G.R No. 243627 November 27 2019
On January 16,2016, accussed-appellant was arrested for Illegal sale and Illegal Possession of Dangerous Drugs. Operatives from Anti-Illegal Drug- Special Operation task group of the Valenzuela City police conducted a buy bust operation after receiving an information that accussed-appellant was said to be in possession of illegal drugs. They recovered two plastic sachet of crystalline substance and were tested positive for shabu. The officers brought accused-appellant to the police station where they allegedly marked, inventoried and photographed the seized items.
Whether or not accussed-appellant is liable for illegal sale and illegal possession of dangerous drugs
No, the CA reversed and set aside the decision of RTC Valenzuela in finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The accused, appealed that there was a non-compliance in the chain of custody. Police officers failed to immediately mark the items at the place of arrest without reasonable ground makes the evidence inadmissible. As a defense, they accomplished the marking, inventory and photography at the police station. However the CA observes that there is still deviation from the witness requirement as the conduct. Of inventory and photography was not witnessed by a representative or media. Police officers stated that there was no available at the time of arrest. The court finds that they fail to show earnest effort to comply with the said requirement. Therefore, CA acquitted, Xandra Littaua from violation of Illegal sale and illegal possession of dangerous drugs.