Tuesday, December 06, 2011

People of the Philippines v. Mads Saludin Mantawil, et al, G.R. No. 188319, June 8, 2011.

Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. In every prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drug, what is crucial is the identity of the buyer and seller, the object and its consideration, the delivery of the thing sold, and the payment for it. Implicit in these cases is first and foremost the identity and existence, coupled with the presentation to the court of the traded prohibited substance, this object evidence being an integral part of the corpus delicti of the crime of possession or selling of regulated/prohibited drug. There can be no such crime when nagging doubts persist on whether the specimen submitted for examination and presented in court was the one recovered from, or sold by, the accused. Essential, therefore, in appropriate cases is that the identity of the prohibited drug be established with moral certainty. The chain-of-custody requirement, set forth in Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3, Series of 1979, performs this function which ensures that unnecessary doubts concerning the identity of the evidence are removed. 

Dangerous Drugs Act; chain of custody. In Malillin v. People, the Supreme Court ruled that the chain of custody requirements that must be met in proving that the seized drugs are the ones presented in court are as follows: (1) testimony about every link in the chain, from the moment the item was picked up to the time it is offered into evidence; and (2) witnesses should describe the precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the chain to have possession of the item. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that there is no broken chain in the custody of the confiscated shabu. People of the Philippines v. Mads Saludin Mantawil, et al, G.R. No. 188319, June 8, 2011.

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