Two life terms, P1 million fine meted to Picolo in shabu case

A motorcycle mechanic from Virac nicknamed Picolo will have to complete two life sentences to get out of prison following his conviction over his 2021 arrest for the sale and possession of illegal drugs.

A CHANGE IN VENUE of the illegal drug transaction did not alter the outcome of the Virac police’s buy-bust operation last Aug. 19, 2021 with Alvin Tablizo arrested after selling a sachet of shabu to an undercover police officer inside the Ronjhie Bar in San Vicente. Eight more sachets of the illegal drugs were found in his possession. Arvin Anthony C. Tabuzo

Presiding Judge Genie G. Gapas-Agbada of the Regional Trial Court Branch 42 also ordered Alvin Cielo Tablizo, 30, a resident of Palnab del Norte, to pay a fine of P500,000 for each offense.

Information filed before the Court stated that in the morning of Aug. 19, 2021, an intelligence operative at the Virac police station received a tip from a confidential informant that Tablizo was looking for a buyer of “basura” or shabu as he had plenty of stock that arrived from Manila.

A deal was arranged for the purchase of P500 worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride, with the transaction to take place in San Vicente sometime between 10 and 11 PM.

Included in the Provincial Illegal Drug Watchlist, Tablizo had previously undergone intervention under the Community-Based Treatment and Rehabilitation Program (CBTRP) but apparently went back to his old ways.

Reports reached the police that he had become active in the illegal drug trade once again, prompting the renewed surveillance of his movements.

That night, joint elements of the Virac MPS and the Provincial Intelligence Unit prepared for the buy-bust operation and then proceeded to the site in front of a store across the road from Ronjhe Bar.

However, the informant came out of the bar and told the officer posing as buyer that the pusher changed his mind and that the transaction would be made inside the bar.

Together with the CI, the lawmen entered the bar while another undercover cop followed and sat at a nearby table as Tablizo was apparently enjoying a bucket of ice-cold beer.

After the exchange of P500 with a sachet of shabu, the poseur-buyer went out and lit a cigarette as a sign that the transaction had been consummated.

A search of Tablizo turned up the P500 buy-bust money and a box of spark plug that was found to contain six more sachets of illegal drugs and a piece of paper with two more sachets.

Laboratory examination confirmed that the sachets contained shabu with a total weight of 12.45 grams.

On the witness stand, the accused tried to impress on the Court that the police operatives committed irregularities in the operation against him, with the drug evidence inside the spark plug box planted inside the pocket of his shorts.

Brushing aside the accusation against the police as “too pat to be believed,” Judge Gapas-Agbada noted that it is highly improbable that the accused, when asked to lie down, felt that there were many hands that entered his pocket.

“Accused’s allegation is incredible because instead of reporting the matter to the authorities or filing necessary action to redress the alleged irregularities, he did nothing. He kept mum,” she stressed.

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