Pandan man, 15 others cleared of drug den raps
Pandan, Catanduanes  ·  
posted 28-Aug-2019  ·  
969 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

A resident of Pandan town has been cleared of the offense of maintaining a drug den while 15 other persons who were arrested with him in an anti-illegal drug raid in 2014 were likewise acquitted of being visitors to the alleged drug den.

RTC Branch 42 Presiding Judge Genie G. Gapas Agbada said the prosecution failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt that Elbert “Bito” Ibloguin was maintaining a drug den, stressing that there was nothing in evidence that the police officers saw that dangerous drugs was being sold or used at the house of the accused.

The Court also found that the prosecution failed to show that the 15 accused of visiting the alleged drug den knew the nature of the alleged drug den, or even that they used drugs in the premises.

“When accused were arrested, nobody was found in the act of using, selling or buying illegal drugs, nor packaging nor hiding nor transporting the same,” Judge Agbada said.

It may be recalled that on Dec. 10, 2014, joint elements of the Pandan and Caramoran police stations and the Catanduanes Provincial Public Safety Company (CATPPSC) led by then Inspector Ariel Buraga raided Ibloguin’s house in barangay Napo on the belief that he had an undetermined volume of illegal drugs.

He escaped during the raid, with the law enforcers arresting Robert Cristobal, Michael Silva, Roy Borbe, Albert Tidon, Cedrick Bernardino, Wilfredo Lopez, Ramon Icawat, Mark Louie Icalabis, Richard Lopez, Gil Eustaquio, Allan del Valle, Dennis Eustaquio, Isidro Icalabis, Arnaldo Icalabis, and Jonathan Icawat.

The team seized three (3) pieces of medium-sized plastic sachets of shabu, nine sachets with residue of suspected shabu, 13 pieces of crumpled aluminium foil, nine rolls of foil, four lighters, 24 empty sachets, Cherrymobile phone, mahjjong set, playing cards, and alleged drug money and gambling bets amounting to P4,771.

The accused were subjected to a drug test, with Dennis Eustaquio, Cedrick Bernardino, Michael Silva, Ramon Icawat, Roy Borbe and Alberto Tidon testing positive for shabu and charged for use of a dangerous drug. They later pleaded guilty to the charge last June 20, 2019.

Ibloguin, who was arrested later, was accused of illegal possession of drug paraphernalia, illegal possession of drugs, operating illegal number game and maintenance of a drug den,.

He plea bargained with the prosecution on the first three charges and was convicted of lesser offenses last June 25, 2019.

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