Court of Appeals turns down motion of man convicted by RTC for drugs
Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - January 9, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – For lack of merit, the Court of Appeals has denied the appeal filed by a man who was earlier convicted for selling illegal drugs.

Associate Justice Gabriel Ingles affirmed the conviction of Rommel Rodriguez, a resident of Barangay Parian, Cebu City, for violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

“…proof beyond reasonable doubt, as found by the Regional Trial Court was established against accused-appellant. Finding no showing that certain facts of relevance and substance bearing on the elements of the crime have been overlooked, misapprehended, or misapplied, we find no cogent reason to overturn the trial court’s judgment,” stated Ingles’ decision.

Rodriguez appealed his case, alleging that the trial court erred in convicting him and sentencing him to life imprisonment with a fine of P500,000.

“The court….erred in convicting the appellant notwithstanding the questionable handling of the corpus delicti of the offense which gives rise to the questions of its integrity,” Rodriguez said, adding there were inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses.

Rodriguez was arrested on March 24, 2005 when police officers conducted a buy-bust operation. The police alleged that they received a report from a concern citizen about the illegal drug activities in Barangay Parian.

Aside from the appellant, Milagros Rodriguez was likewise arrested. Milagros did not appeal her conviction.

Rodriguez had denied the accusation. He claimed that during the police operation, he was in his residence in Villagonzalo, Tejero, Cebu City.

Rodriguez, likewise, questioned the chain of custody of the evidence.

But Ingles, in his 16-page decision, ruled in favor of the prosecution, saying the trial court did not err in convicting the appellant.

“As opposed to the claim of accused-appellant, a buy-bust operation was established by the prosecution. A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment whereby ways and means are resorted to for the purpose of trapping and capturing the law-breakers in the execution of their criminal plan. Unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the members of the buy-bust team were inspired by any improper motive or were not properly performing their duty, their testimony on the ope-ration deserves full faith and credit,” the decision read.

Ingles added that the chain of custody of the pieces of evidence seized by the police was not broken contrary to Rodriguez’s allegation. —/LPM (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ASSOCIATE JUSTICE GABRIEL INGLES BARANGAY PARIAN BUT INGLES CEBU CITY COURT OF APPEALS DRUGS ACT MILAGROS RODRIGUEZ REGIONAL TRIAL COURT REPUBLIC ACT RODRIGUEZ
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