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Drug suspect from Minglanilla town, Cebu Acquitted
« on: October 01, 2012, 01:32:51 PM »
by pna

The Court of Appeals has decided in favor of a man from Minglanilla town, Cebu who was accused of selling illegal drugs in 2005.

Associate Justice Pamela Ann Maxino overturned the ruling of the trial court and acquitted Samuel Calinawan of drug charges, sparing him from life imprisonment.

”The guilt of accused-appellant was not proven beyond reasonable doubt as the circumstances availing make the existence of the buy-bust operation suspect,” the 16-page ruling Justice Maxino penned for the CA’s special 19th Division read.

The CA ordered the immediate release of Calinawan from detention.

Police arrested and charged Calinawan with illegal possession and sale of shabu, penalized under Sections 5 and 11 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Armed with a search warrant, police officers Ernesto Navales and Roland Camello and members of the Provincial Intelligence and Investigation Branch swooped down on two houses of suspected drug dealers in Barangay Tunghaan, Minglanilla, Cebu.

The anti-drug operation, carried out on Aug. 14, 2005, was also designed to “apprehended any drug pusher caught in the act of peddling drugs.”

While the police were serving the warrant, Calinawan entered the gate of a suspected drug dealer’s house and bought a cigarette from a nearby store, oblivious to the ongoing operation.

On his way out, Calinawan was approached by a police officer and asked if he was a drug pusher, which he denied.

The police reportedly recovered illegal drugs from the houses covered by the search warrant.

Authorities later brought Calinawan to Minglanilla Police Station.

Calinawan said a police officer, whom he did not identify, went to his mother and asked for P50,000 in exchange for his release.

When he failed to produce the amount, the police allegedly filed drug charges against him before the prosecutor’s office.

The police, however, insisted that the operation and the arrest of Calinawan were regular.

The police said Calinawan was arrested after he handed over a small sachet of suspected shabu to a poseur-buyer in exchange for P100 marked money.

In its decision, the Cebu City Regional Trial Court found Calinawan guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The court also fined him P800,000.

The defense appealed the verdict before the appellate court and argued that the lower court erred in establishing his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The defense also argued that Calinawan’s guilt was anchored on mere speculation that he sold and possessed shabu.

In reversing the lower court’s ruling, the appellate court held that the search and retrieval of suspected shabu and Calinawan’s arrest were illegal.

The police nabbed Calinawan on his way out of the suspected drug dealer’s house on suspicion that he was also a drug pusher, the appellate court pointed out.

But the circumstances do not justify Calinawan’s arrest, the CA ruled, since he was not committing a crime or had not committed a crime during the operation.

”These were done in violation of his rights. The Constitution guards the rights of individuals against illegal search and seizure,” the CA said.

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Re: Drug suspect from Minglanilla town, Cebu Acquitted
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2012, 04:48:22 PM »
Kaluoy tawon. Pito ka tuig nga gihikawan sa makatarunganong kagawasan... :P  >:(
...than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln



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