Ex-cop’s son gets life term for selling shabu
posted 6-Aug-2019  ·  
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The Regional Trial Court has meted the penalty of life imprisonment on a son of a retired police officer who was caught in a buy-bust operation near the Virac port five years ago.

RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras also ordered Cyl Ace “Ponggit” Alberto Bagadiong to pay a fine of P500,000 and confiscated the sachet containing 0.073 gram of shabu for proper disposition by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Administration (PDEA).

Bagadiong was 27 years old and employed as a civil security officer at the provincial capitol when the operation was hatched by then Inspector Johnny Ray Isic of the Virac police station on June 14, 2014.

Information filed before the Court stated that an acquaintance of Bagadiong, Winston Tolentino, was summoned by the police to the station. Accompanied by a woman who also knew the target, the informant contacted Bagadiong at the seawall in Rawis in front of a beer house where he asked Ace where to get shabu.

The informant went back to the police and agreed to execute the operation at the Amigos bar in front of the Salvacion mini-park. Inside the bar at 11:15 P.M., the poseur-buyer texted Bagadiong that he would buy P600 worth of shabu and would wait for him. However, the bar closed at midnight, forcing the informant and his companion to wait at the mini-park.

When Bagadiong arrived on board a motorcycle at 12:15 A.M. and handed over a small plastic sachet containing shabu and got the marked money as payment, the informant waved his hat in the air. The signal prompted a policeman hiding in the trees at the breakwater to run towards Bagadiong and arrested him. A search conducted in the presence of barangay officials and government witnesses recovered the money on the sandy area at the side of the road.

In his defense, Bagadiong denied selling illegal drugs and claimed he was there at the park to meet a lady that Tolentino wanted him to meet.

He alleged that one possible motive that the drug operation was launched against him was that his mother, then a capitol intelligence agent and close aide of then Governor Araceli Wong, had submitted a report naming police officers Dario Gregorio, Sharmy Destura and Jick Zafe as involved in illegal drugs/

In considering the case, the Court stated that by his denial, Bagadiong wanted to impress upon the Court that the evidence against him was merely planted, which it said is just incredible, considering the strength of the prosecution’s evidence which belie his allegations.

“Photographs, indeed, never lie and can paint a thousand words,” Judge Contreras said as she pointed to four claims made by Bagadiong which was shown to be false by the photos submitted by the police.

On the non-presentation of the poseur-buyer during trial, the Court cited a Supreme Court ruling that the non-presentation of the poseur-buyer can only be fatal if there is no other eyewitness to the illicit transaction.

PO1 Bobby Tribiana testified testimony that he saw the transaction consummated, as confirmed by the photographs, it stressed.

Despite Bagadiong’s denial, the Court also was convinced that it was him who placed the marked money billd on the sand near the location of his ball cap, as he had resisted lying down on the ground and his hands were not yet handcuffed.

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