Two Bacolod residents, one a 51-year-old mother who was caught with shabu hidden in shrimp paste during a visit to her jailed lover, were sentenced to 17 years and 8 months imprisonment for possession of drugs, yesterday.
Executive Judge Raymond Joseph Javier of the Bacolod Regional Trial Court Branch 52 found MyleneAnianFerrer and JuliusCañeteBalandra guilty of violation of Section 11, Article II of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, in separate decisions.
They were sentenced to indeterminate prison terms of 12 years and 8 months as minimum to 17 years and 8 months as maximum, and to each pay a fine of P300,000.
Javier also ordered the immediate transfer of Ferrer, a mother of four, to the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, for the service of her sentence.
Balandra, who is at-large, was sentenced in absentia.
Ferrer was caught with seven plastic sachets containing .720 gram of shabu at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Bacolod City District Jail Male Dormitory in Barangay Handumanan, Bacolod City, on July 13, 2013.
She had gone to jail to visit her lover, Sonny Boy Tan, a BJMP inmate, and as a standard operating procedure her belongings were searched, the court was told.
During the search fingerprints were noticed on the shrimp paste (ginamos) and when sliced open was found to contain 7 plastic sachets of shabu, the court was told.
Ferrer told the court it was the girlfriend of inmate Amay Vargas who asked her to bring the shrimp paste to him and that she was not aware that it contained shabu.
But the judge, in his order, said “the defense of denial is inherently weak and viewed with disfavor as it can easily be concocted.”
Denial cannot prevail against the positive testimony of the prosecution witness pointing to her as the culprit in the crime, he said.
Meanwhile, Balandra was found guilty of possession of seven sachets of shabu with a total weight of 2.305 grams at his residence in PurokSigay, Barangay 2, Bacolod, on July 22, 2015.
On Aug.12, 2015 Balandra pleaded not guilty,but he jumped bail after his arraignment. He was tried in absentia and his case was submitted for decision on the basis of the evidence presented by the plaintiff.
Meanwhile, Javier acquittedyesterday Raffy Ortiz Cardeñas and JimmelCamentowho were arrested for possession of shabu in Purok Neptune, Barangay Singcang-Arport, Bacolod, on June 6,2012.
The two were acquitted on the grounds of illegal arrest. The seizure of the dangerous drugs infringed on the constitutional right ofthe accused against unreasonable searches and seizures, Javier said.
Meanwhile, Bacolod Regional Trial Court Brach 47, Judge Therese Blanche Bolunia, also acquitted yesterday Joan Vargas Galino, Anthony Selga Chavez, Antonio Hortillosa and NeliaJapitana of drug charges.
She, however, found RosaliaLarida Yap and Leah DucadoAldea guilty of use of dangerous drugs and sentenced them to a minimum of six months rehabilitation at a government rehabilitation center.*CPG
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