R.A. No. 9165 – The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972; Violations

Section 4. Importation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals

Section 5. Sale, Trading, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Distribution and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals

Section 6. Maintenance of a Den, Dive or Resort

Section 7. Employees and Visitors of a Den, Dive or Resort

Section 8. Manufacture of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals

Section 9. Illegal Chemical Diversion of Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals

Section 10. Manufacture or Delivery of Equipment, Instrument, Apparatus, and Other Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals

Section 11. Possession of Dangerous Drugs

Section 12. Possession of Equipment, Instrument, Apparatus and Other Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs

Section 13. Possession of Dangerous Drugs During Parties, Social Gatherings or Meetings

Section 14. Possession of Equipment, Instrument, Apparatus and Other Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs During Parties, Social Gatherings or Meetings

Section 15. Use of Dangerous Drugs

Section 16. Cultivation or Culture of Plants Classified as Dangerous Drugs or are Sources Thereof

Section 17. Maintenance and Keeping of Original Records of Transactions on Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals

Section 18. Unnecessary Prescription of Dangerous Drugs

Section 19. Unlawful Prescription of Dangerous Drugs

Section 21(a) of the IRR of R.A. No. 9165 – Rule on the Chain of Custody; Exception

The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof; Provided, that the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search warrant is served; or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of warrantless seizures; Provided, further, that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items.

G.R. No. 192284 Tionco v. People March 11, 2015

Facts:

In an Amended Information dated September 4, 2002, petitioner was charged with violation of Section 11(3), Article II of R.A. 9165. Petitioner entered a plea of not guilty to the charge upon his arraignment on December 9,2002.

During trial, it was proved that after petitioner was arrested and the suspected shabu was confiscated from him by PO1 Sta. Maria, the latter immediately brought the item to the police station where he marked the plastic sachet with petitioner’s initials “ATO,” and turned it over to the investigator POl Garcia. The latter, together with POl Sta. Maria, then forwarded the said plastic sachet marked with “ATO” ‘and the letter request for laboratory examination to the WPD Crime Laboratoiy. Forensic Chemist P/Insp. Macapagal personally received the same from POl Garcia and after conducting qualitative examination on the contents thereof, found the same to be positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. When the prosecution presented as evidence in court the plastic sachet marked with “ATO,” POl Sta. Maria in no uncertain terms positively identified it as the one he confiscated from petitioner. Also proved was the fact that there was no physical inventory conducted on and photograph taken of the seized item.

The RTC, in its Amended Decision of August 29, 2008, convicted petitioner.

On appeal, the CA affirmed the amended decision where it upheld the integrity and evidentiary value of the confiscated item after observing that its chain of custody was duly established. Petitioner, on the other hand, filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied in a Resolution dated May 13, 2010. Hence, this Petition for Review on Certiorari, where petitioner attempts to raise doubts on the identity of the item confiscated from him. He asserts that there was failure on the part of the police officers to preserve the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized item as no physical inventory thereof was conducted, or photograph of it taken, immediately upon seizure, in violation of the procedures provided by law.

Issue:

Whether or not the CA was correct in giving full weight and credence to the prosecution’s evidence (the seized item) despite lack of physical inventory on and photograph taken of the same.

Ruling:

Yes.

  • Procedural: It is significant to note that the defense did not question the admissibility of the seized item as evidence during trial. In no instance did he intimate before the trial court that there were lapses in the handling and safekeeping of the item that might affect its admissibility, integrity and evidentiary value. It was only during the appeal to the CA that he questioned the same. Settled is the rule that no question will be entertained on appeal unless it had been raised in the court below as enunciated in People v. Sta. Maria and reiterated in subsequent cases.
  • Substantive: [W]hile there was indeed no physical inventory conducted and no photograph of the seized item was taken, the Court has already ruled in several cases that the failure of the arresting officers to strictly comply with the law is not fatal and will not render an accused’s arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. “What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused.”

When is battered woman syndrome said to exist?

BTS is characterized by the so-called cycle of violence, which has three phases: (1) the tension-building phase; (2) the acute battering incident; and (3) the tranquil, loving (or, at least, nonviolent) phase.

During the tension-building phase, minor battering occurs — it could be verbal or slight physical abuse or another form of hostile behavior. The woman usually tries to pacify the batterer through a show of kind, nurturing behavior; or by simply staying out of his way. What actually happens is that she allows herself to be abused in ways that, to her, are comparatively minor. All she wants is to prevent the escalation of the violence exhibited by the batterer. This wish, however, proves to be double-edged, because her placatory and passive behavior legitimizes his belief that he has the right to abuse her in the first place.

However, the techniques adopted by the woman in her effort to placate him are not usually successful, and the verbal and/or physical abuse worsens. Each partner senses the imminent loss of control and the growing tension and despair. Exhausted from the persistent stress, the battered woman soon withdraws emotionally. But the more she becomes emotionally unavailable, the more the batterer becomes angry, oppressive and abusive. Often, at some unpredictable point, the violence spirals out of control and leads to an acute battering incident.

The acute battering incident is said to be characterized by brutality, destructiveness and, sometimes, death. The battered woman deems this incident as unpredictable, yet also inevitable. During this phase, she has no control; only the batterer may put an end to the violence. Its nature can be as unpredictable as the time of its explosion, and so are his reasons for ending it. The battered woman usually realizes that she cannot reason with him, and that resistance would only exacerbate her condition.

At this stage, she has a sense of detachment from the attack and the terrible pain, although she may later clearly remember every detail. Her apparent passivity in the face of acute violence may be rationalized thus: the batterer is almost always much stronger physically, and she knows from her past painful experience that it is futile to fight back. Acute battering incidents are often very savage and out of control, such that innocent bystanders or intervenors are likely to get hurt.

The final phase of the cycle of violence begins when the acute battering incident ends. During this tranquil period, the couple experience profound relief. On the one hand, the batterer may show a tender and nurturing behavior towards his partner. He knows that he has been viciously cruel and tries to make up for it, begging for her forgiveness and promising never to beat her again. On the other hand, the battered woman also tries to convince herself that the battery will never happen again; that her partner will change for the better; and that this good, gentle and caring man is the real person whom she loves.

A battered woman usually believes that she is the sole anchor of the emotional stability of the batterer. Sensing his isolation and despair, she feels responsible for his well-being. The truth, though, is that the chances of his reforming, or seeking or receiving professional help, are very slim, especially if she remains with him. Generally, only after she leaves him does he seek professional help as a way of getting her back. Yet, it is in this phase of remorseful reconciliation that she is most thoroughly tormented psychologically.

The illusion of absolute interdependency is well-entrenched in a battered womans psyche. In this phase, she and her batterer are indeed emotionally dependent on each other — she for his nurturant behavior, he for her forgiveness. Underneath this miserable cycle of tension, violence and forgiveness, each partner may believe that it is better to die than to be separated. Neither one may really feel independent, capable of functioning without the other.

Why Marivic Genosa is not a battered woman

The defense fell short of proving all three phases of the cycle of violence supposedly characterizing the relationship of Ben and Marivic Genosa. No doubt there were acute battering incidents. In relating to the court a quo how the fatal incident that led to the death of Ben started, Marivic perfectly described the tension-building phase of the cycle. She was able to explain in adequate detail the typical characteristics of this stage. However, that single incident does not prove the existence of the syndrome. In other words, she failed to prove that in at least another battering episode in the past, she had gone through a similar pattern.

How did the tension between the partners usually arise or build up prior to acute battering? How did Marivic normally respond to Ben’s relatively minor abuses? What means did she employ to try to prevent the situation from developing into the next (more violent) stage?

Neither did appellant proffer sufficient evidence in regard to the third phase of the cycle. She simply mentioned that she would usually run away to her mother’s or father’s house; that Ben would seek her out, ask for her forgiveness and promise to change; and that believing his words, she would return to their common abode.

Did she ever feel that she provoked the violent incidents between her and her spouse? Did she believe that she was the only hope for Ben to reform? And that she was the sole support of his emotional stability and well-being? Conversely, how dependent was she on him? Did she feel helpless and trapped in their relationship? Did both of them regard death as preferable to separation?

In sum, the defense failed to elicit from appellant herself her factual experiences and thoughts that would clearly and fully demonstrate the essential characteristics of the syndrome. – People v. Genosa

G.R. No. 135981 People v. Genosa January 15, 2004

Facts:

Sometime in November 1995, after a heated argument between appellant Marivic and her husband, the former killed the latter. It was established, among others, that: a) the cause of death was the gunshot at the back of the victim’s head; and b) in different occasions prior to the killing, Marivic had been the subject of severe beatings inflicted by her husband. Appellant claimed Battered Woman Syndrome as a defense to exonerate her from criminal liability.

Issues:

  1. Whether or not appellant acted in self-defense and in defense of her fetus; and
  2. Whether or not treachery attended the killing of Ben Genosa.

Ruling:

  1. No. The Revised Penal Code provides the following requisites of self-defense, to wit: 1) unlawful aggression; 2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and 3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. Unlawful aggression is the most essential element of self-defense. It presupposes actual, sudden and unexpected attack — or an imminent danger thereof — on the life or safety of a person. In the present case, and according to the testimony of Marivic herself, there was a sufficient time interval between the unlawful aggression of Ben and her fatal attack upon him. She had already been able to withdraw from his violent behavior and escape to their childrens bedroom. During that time, he apparently ceased his attack and went to bed. The reality or even the imminence of the danger he posed had ended altogether. He was no longer in a position that presented an actual threat on her life or safety.
  2. No. It is a rule that when a killing is preceded by an argument or a quarrel, treachery cannot be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, because the deceased may be said to have been forewarned and to have anticipated aggression from the assailant. Moreover, in order to appreciate alevosia, the method of assault adopted by the aggressor must have been consciously and deliberately chosen for the specific purpose of accomplishing the unlawful act without risk from any defense that might be put up by the party attacked. There is no showing, though, that the present appellant intentionally chose a specific means of successfully attacking her husband without any risk to herself from any retaliatory act that he might make. To the contrary, it appears that the thought of using the gun occurred to her only at about the same moment when she decided to kill her batterer-spouse. In the absence of any convincing proof that she consciously and deliberately employed the method by which she committed the crime in order to ensure its execution, this Court resolves the doubt in her favor.

This case was one of its kind when decided in 2004. Admitting she killed her husband, herein appellant anchored her prayer for acquittal on a novel theory — the battered woman syndrome (BWS), which allegedly constitutes self-defense. The case could have been the first to use the syndrome as a self-defense had Marivic been able to convince the court that she was indeed a battered woman — and the ‘unlawful aggression’, which was wanting, would have been found to exist. This is the implication when the Supreme Court announced, thus: “Where the brutalized person is already suffering from BWS, further evidence of actual physical assault at the time of the killing is not required. Incidents of domestic battery usually have a predictable pattern. To require the battered person to await an obvious, deadly attack before she can defend her life would amount to sentencing her to murder by installment. Still, impending danger (based on the conduct of the victim in previous battering episodes) prior to the defendants use of deadly force must be shown. Threatening behavior or communication can satisfy the required imminence of danger. Considering such circumstances and the existence of BWS, self-defense may be appreciated.”