Beach resort guest guilty of illegal drug possession
posted 10-Dec-2019  ·  
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A guest at a beach resort who was targeted in an anti-illegal drug raid but was not present during the search has been found guilty of possession of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Junie “Insoy” Padilla was sentenced to suffer imprisonment of 12 to 14 years and to pay a fine of P300,000 for the main charge, with another six months to two years of jail term and a fine of P10,000 added for the paraphernalia case.

The third case against him, for maintenance of a drug den, was dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.

On Jan. 19, 2015, a police team led by Inspector Crisanto Romero served a search warrant at the premises occupied by suspects Padilla and one Renz Aguilar at the Balin beach resort in Palawig, San Andres.

Padilla was not around and eluded arrest, according to the report, while Aguilar, whose real name is Leo Renn Luyon Chavez, 52, caretaker of the Balin beach resort, was arrested.

During the search witnessed by designated personnel and barangay officials headed by Chairman Roel Bagadiong,  the police confiscated 12 assorted sizes of plastic sachets containing white residue believed to be shabu, a piece of aluminium foil used as improvised tooter, a sachet containing crumpled foil and cigarette ashes, and unsealed plastic sachets.

The Regional Trial Court emphasized that even when Padilla had already left the room, he was its occupant and, therefore, in constriction possession of the illegal items that were seized during the search since he had dominion and control over it while he was still occupying it.

RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras noted that prosecution witnesses declared that Chavez told them that Insoy had been staying at the room in question for three days already prior to the search and had just left, not checked out, before the police arrived.

Thus, the Court was not convinced by the accused’s claim that he only went there in the morning to rent one of the rooms for a family outing and that there was no instance that he had been there before said date.

It also pointed to inconsistencies in his testimony, particularly his claim that he did not bring his family to Quezon province to work on his brother’s meat shop in February 2015 because he wanted to check if the place was good.

The Court noted that Padilla stayed in Quezon until his arrest in April 2016 and, yet, never mentioned if the place was a good place or not and did not explain why his family was not with him at the time of his arrest.

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