THE Makati City regional trial court has dropped the illegal drugs charges lodged against rapper ‘Loonie’ (Marlon Peroramas in real life) and several others after their demurrer to evidence was granted.
Likewise cleared by Branch 64 Judge Gina Bibat-Palamos were the rapper’s sister Idyll Liza, who acted as his manager, and two of their staff.
The court noted that law enforcers deviated from the chain of custody rule under Section 21 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The said rule required the arresting team having initial custody and control of the drugs to immediately undertake a physical inventory of the confiscated drugs, and to take photographs while in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel.
It also required a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and any elected public official to sign the copies of the inventory.
Witnesses are important to prevent allegations of planting of evidence.
In ‘Loonies’ case, the court noted that the required witnesses were not present during the buy-bust operation, and at the time of the confiscation of the illegal drugs.
“As correctly pointed out by the defense, none of the prosecution witnesses identified the drug evidence in open court as seized from the accused,” the court said.