Nearly 10 months after being caught in a buy-bust operation in Virac, a Viga resident has been sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of P500,000.00 for trying to sell dangerous drugs.
Last week, Nikka “Mikay” Lopez Tojon, who is in her early 20s, was found guilty of the offense by Regional Trial Court Branch 42 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras.
A native of San Jose (Poblacion), Tojon was also sentenced to an additional 12 to 14 years of imprisonment plus a fine of P300,000.00 for possession of dangerous drugs seized during the operation.
Reports show that joint elements of the Virac police, the Catanduanes police intelligence branch, the Regional Intelligence Division team and the 1st Catanduanes Police Mobile Force led by Maj. Josefino Titong mounted the operation on the rainy night of Sept. 12, 2019.
Through a confidential informant, the transaction was negotiated with Tojon, who instructed the buyer to wait at the Virac public market beside the Jeff Jacky Meatshop in barangay Concepcion.
The female police officer who posed as the buyer was already waiting when the target arrived and approached her, “Ika su makua?”
“Iyo, so pang 1,500 lang,” she answered, before Tojon handed to her a small sachet of shabu in exchange for three P500 bills, two of which were fake.
As soon as the undercover cop made the signal that the transaction had been consummated, police operatives immediately rushed to the scene, with the policewoman making the arrest.
Recovered from a piece of plastic inserted between the garter of Tojon’s short pants and her girdle were four medium-sized sachets of shabu as well as the three pieces of P500 buy-bust money.
During the trial, Tojon claimed that on the evening of Sept. 12, 2019, she was drinking liquor at Sta. Elena, Virac with her friends when she was given a piece of paper by her cousin, Hanna, who told her to go to the market and give it to a security guard at the public market.
When she arrived, she said that someone she did not know pulled her toward the meatshop and then handcuffed her before the barangay chairman and other witnesses arrived.
Tojon also denied that only the pockets of her jacket were searched but a photograph showing her waistline being searched disproved her claim.
While the Court even considered her claim that she was only sent on an errand to bring the item, text messages in the cellphone used by the informant showed that Tojon was indeed the target of the police operation.
“This Court, therefore, is not persuaded by the defense of denial, tantamount to frame up, which the accused put up,” Judge Contreras stated, noting that Tojon failed to show proof of any motive on the part of the police officers to impute falsely against her a crime as serious as violation of the Comprehansive Dangerous Drugs Act.