RTC junks drug rap vs. ex-CatSU instructor

A former instructor of the Catanduanes State University accused of possession of dangerous drugs last year is in the clear after the case was dismissed last week by the Regional Trial Court.
In granting the demurrer to evidence filed by Daryl O. Pulvinar, RTC Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras stated the Court had no recourse but to dismiss the case due to questionable integrity of the 14 sachets of shabu seized from Pulvinar’s house in Palawig, San Andres on Oct. 27, 2020.
It may be recalled that early in the morning of that day, law enforcers from the San Andres police station and the Provincial Intelligence Branch raided his house of Daryl O. Pulvinar, who was then with his live-in partner, also an instructor at the university.
During the search, the police found a small sachet of shabu laid against the wall at the kitchen lavatory and hidden behind two water containers.
In the bedroom, a Commando matchbox was found just below the window, with the box containing another six small sachets and seven medium-sized sachets. All in all, the illegal drugs weighed a total of 15.237 grams according to the laboratory examination conducted by the PNP Regional Crime Lab.
Pulvinar was not subjected to a drug test and he was not brought to the crime laboratory in Legazpi City when the drug items were submitted for examination.
In his defense, he denied that the illegal drugs were his and that the only thing seized from him was his cellphone.
He likewise said that the accusations were made by somebody who had a grudge against him, citing his causing the ejection of squatters inside his family’s property.
In its Order dated Oct. 21, the Court noted the police searcher only saw the drug sachet only when the water container in lavatory were moved, prompting Judge Contreras to comment that the sachet should have been photographed when the container was still in its original position.
While the prosecutor held that police officers are presumed to have acted regularly in the performance of their official functions in the absence of clear and convincing proof to the contrary, the Court stressed that it could not close its eyes to the questionable location of the drug items seized by the police office, especially that these were found directly in front of an opened panel of the windows in the kitchen and bedroom.
It said that the location of the matchbox and the sachet gave the impression that these were placed from outside the window, with both the kitchen and bedroom facing an open area.
“The Court finds it inconceivable for the accused to hide such a ‘valuable and illegal commodity’ between the water container, which directly touches the window sill, and on top of the window sill, both fronting an opened panel of the window, when there are so many places in his house which are more secured,” Judge Contreras concluded.
Previous reports claimed that Pulvinar was prompted to leave the university after a complaint was filed against him for harassing his female student who wanted out of their amorous relationship.

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