Life term for man caught with 32 sachets of shabu

A resident of Virac who was arrested for possession of 32 sachets of shabu inside his home early this year has been meted life imprisonment by the Regional Trial Court.

Last week, RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras found Ruben “Ambot” Lasang Padilla guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Section 11 of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and sentenced him to life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P400,000.00.

The 13.977 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride seized from him were confiscated for disposal under the law.

Armed with a search warrant issued by RTC Branch 42 Presiding Judge Genie G. Gapas-Agbada, a team led by Virac police chief Maj. Antonio Perez went to the house of Padilla at 12:36 AM of Jan. 12, 2021 in Gogon Centro and knocked on his door.

In the presence of designated witnesses and Padilla, a search of the one-room house led to the discovery of a black pouch that had been placed at the back of a wooden post and surrounded by other things.

Inside the pouch were 32 transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance, four unsealed plastic sachets, and a blue lighter.

Examination of the sachets at the PNP’s Regional Crime Laboratory gave positive results for the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride in the 32 granule-filled sachets as well as in two unsealed sachets containing residue of the white crystalline substance.

In their defense, Padilla, his mother and sister claimed that prior to the police’s arrival, they were awakened by two men in civilian clothes who forcibly kicked the door of the house and went to one of the bedrooms, while another man also kicked the kitchen door.

The accused also reasoned out that it would be contrary to common reason to place dangerous on open view in the house within reach of his children.

In its decision rendered Aug. 13, 2021, the Court remained unconvinced by Padilla’s attempt to exculpate himself, citing the contradicting and inconsistent statement he and his witnesses made during the trial.

Cross-examination found that the house has no bedroom while photographs presented by the defense to show evidence of damage to the door also showed that the barrel bolts were not destroyed.

Padilla himself testified that the black pouch at the back of the post between the post and the wall was not visible to anyone upon entering the house as many things were placed alongside the wall.

“Ruben failed to show proof of any motive on the part of the police officers to impute falsely against him a crime as serious as violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act,” Judge Contreras stressed

According to a reliable source, Padilla will soon follow in the footsteps of his brother Junie, who is reportedly serving a jail sentence for the same offense at the national penitentiary.

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