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Metro

2 Igorots convicted for ‘grass’

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Two Ifugao natives were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Muntinlupa City regional trial court yesterday for illegal possession of more than 72 kilos of dried marijuana leaves and flower tops five years ago.

Convicted by Judge Alberto Lerma of RTC Branch 256 and fined P500,000 each were Maria Dumalangay, 50; and Berito Tugina, 33, both temporary residents of San Jose Subdivision in Alabang and natives of Hingyon, Ifugao province.

The two were arrested by agents of the Muntinlupa police who barged inside their shanty during a raid last Sept. 4, 1996.

The lawmen broke inside their home while chasing one Loreta Banaw-ol who was entrapped selling several grams of shabu to undercover policemen outside the shanty.

While pursuing Banaw-ol who rushed inside the shanty, the cops were surprised to find Dumalangay and Tugina busy packing hundreds of bricks of dried marijuana leaves and flower tops into plastic bags.

During trial, Dumalangay and Tugina denied owning the "stuff," saying they had just stayed temporarily at Banaw-ol’s house after delivering threads for Igorot weaving.

Defense lawyers also noted that the policemen did not have a search nor arrest warrants during the raid. However, in his decision, Lerma gave credence to the lawmen’s account of their buy-bust operation against Banaw-ol and their subsequent discovery of the marijuana in the possession of Dumalangay and Tugina. – Rainier Allan Ronda

ALABANG

BANAW

BERITO TUGINA

DUMALANGAY AND TUGINA

JUDGE ALBERTO LERMA

LORETA BANAW

MARIA DUMALANGAY

MUNTINLUPA CITY

RAINIER ALLAN RONDA

SAN JOSE SUBDIVISION

TWO IFUGAO

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