CA Justice Henri Jean-Paul Inting appointed new SC justice

SC frees three drug suspects due to police blunders

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Three more suspected drug pushers have been freed by the Supreme Court because of police blunders during arrest and handling of evidence.

According to the SC, there were no representative from the Department of Justice and the media during the inventory of the seized drugs.

Section 21 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act requires the presence of the suspect, their lawyer, an elected public official, a representative of the National Prosecution Service or the media during the physical inventory of the seized items.

Also, the SC required arresting officers to indicate compliance with the said rule. There was no compliance however.

“A stricter adherence to Section 21 is required where the quantity of illegal drugs seized is minuscule since it is highly susceptible to planting, tampering, or alteration,” the SC said in the newer decision.

Emmanuel Oliva, Bernardo Barangot, and Mark Angelo Manalastas were arrested during a buy-bust operation in 2015 with a total of 0.18 grams of drugs.

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