A man was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for selling 11. 84 grams of dried marijuana leaves and fruiting tops to a police-poseur buyer in Brgy. Felisa, Bacolod City in 2010.
Regional Trial Court Branch 47 Judge Edgar Garvilles, found Gerry Goopio, alias “Nonoy Gopio”, 23, of Brgy. Handumanan, Bacolod, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 5, Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2202.
The judge also ordered him to pay P500,000 as fine and that be remitted to the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City, while the dried marijuana leaves and fruiting tops were ordered confiscated and delivered to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
A teary-eyed Goopio went out of the court room saying he is willing to face his verdict, while his mother Hermenia, said they will appeal the verdict before the Court of Appeals.
Information filed in court showed that the members of the Bacolod City Police City Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group arrested Goopio at about 3 p.m. on July 5 at his residence at Bangga Totong 1 after he handed Inoperio dried marijuana leaves and fruiting tops wrapped in a news paper in exchange for P200.
Police Officer 1 Ivan Inoperio, who acted as police-poseur buyer, testified in court that an informant personally appeared at the CAIDSTOG office on July 2, 2010 and told them that there was rampant selling of marijuana in Brgy. Handumanan, particularly at Goopio’s residence.
Inoperio also testified that, together with the informant, they conducted surveillance on Goopio on July 3 at Bangga Toton and confirmed that he was into illegal drugs, prompting them to launch the buy-bust operation on July 5.
Goopio, in his defense, said, he was watching television with his cousins at the house of his parents when Police Officer 3 Rey Villanueva arrived and asked him to come out of the house.
When he came out, he was asked by Villanueva if he is “Nonoy Goopio,” and when he replied yes, the policeman immediately arrested him, he added.
Goopio also stressed in court that the evidences recovered from him were only planted by CAIDSTOG’s former head, Senior Insp. Joemarie Occeño.
In giving his 15-page verdict, Garvilles, however, said the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty stands in the case and the presumption was not overcome as there were no evidences whatsoever showing that Inoperio and Villanueva were impelled by improper motive.
The judge added that Goopio’s assertion that he was framed has no merit, as in almost every case involving illegal drugs buy-bust operations, the accused put up this kind of defense.
And other witness presented in court to strengthen the case against Goopio was Senior Insp. Cecila Tang, chemical officer of Camp Delgado in Iloilo City, while Goopio’s neighbor, Dieger Alberto, testified in his favor.*APN