Essentially, in a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, like shabu in this case, the following elements must concur: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object and the consideration of the sale; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. The commission of the offense of illegal sale of prohibited drugs requires merely the consummation of the selling transaction, which happens the moment the buyer receives the drug from the seller. Thus, what is material to a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is proof that the illicit transaction took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti or the illicit drug as evidence. Such proof is present in this case.
Silverio, the poseur-buyer, positively identified appellant, who was caught in flagrante delicto, to be the same person whom he saw and approached beside a store inside the Manila South Cemetery in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Makati City, and who later on sold to him two (2) small plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance for a consideration of
P400.00. Such white crystalline substance contained inside the two (2) small plastic sachets handed to Silverio by appellant was confirmed to be methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu per Chemistry Report No. D-599-02 dated 1 November 2002 issued by the PNP Crime Laboratory. During trial, the two (2) small plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance were presented in court, which Silverio identified to be the same object sold to him by appellant as shown by the markings found thereon representing his initials written by PO2 Tizon in his presence. Silverio also identified in court the recovered buy-bust money from appellant, which consists of four (4) pieces of P100 peso bills in the total amount of P400.00 with markings “ASSJR” on the right collar of former President Manuel A. Roxas.
Furthermore, the testimony of Silverio clearly established in detail how his transaction with appellant came about commencing from the moment he approached appellant and expressed his intention of buying the goods appellant was selling, i.e., shabu, until the time appellant handed him the two (2) small plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance, which upon examination yielded positive results to the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, and in exchange to that he handed appellant four (4) pieces of
P100.00 peso bills marked money amounting to P400.00 that consummated the sale transaction between him and appellant.
Beyond cavil, the prosecution clearly established beyond reasonable doubt appellant’s guilt for the offense of illegal sale of shabu, a dangerous drug, in violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165.
In a prosecution for illegal possession of dangerous drugs, e.g., shabu, on the other hand, it must be shown that: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or an object identified to be a prohibited or a regulated drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. These circumstances of illegal possession are obtaining in the present case.
The aforesaid elements were undeniably substantiated by the prosecution. Incident to her lawful arrest resulting from the buy-bust operation, appellant was further found to have in her possession six (6) more small plastic sachets of shabu with a total weight of 0.67 gram, which were the same kind of dangerous drug she was caught selling in flagrante delicto. The said six (6) small plastic sachets of shabu were similarly presented in court, which Silverio and PO2 Tizon both identified to be the same objects recovered from appellant while she was being frisked by PO2 Tizon on the occasion of her arrest for illegally selling shabu.
In addition, the record is bereft of any evidence to show that appellant had the legal authority to possess the six (6) small plastic sachets of shabu recovered from her. It has been jurisprudentially settled that possession of dangerous drugs constitutes prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi sufficient to convict an accused in the absence of a satisfactory explanation of such possession. Hence, the burden of evidence is shifted to the accused to explain the absence of knowledge or animus possidendi. In this case, appellant miserably failed to explain her absence of knowledge or animus possidendi of the shabu recovered from her.
Thus, appellant’s guilt for the crime of illegal possession of shabu, a dangerous drug, in clear violation of Section 11, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, has also been duly proven by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt.
In the same vein, it cannot be denied that on the occasion of her arrest for having been caught in flagrante delicto selling shabu, a plastic bag was also recovered in her possession containing the following drug paraphernalia, to wit: 14 pieces of unused transparent plastic sachets, three disposable lighters, an improvised tooter and five strips of aluminum foil. Possession of the same was in clear violation of Section 12, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165.
It bears stressing that violation of Section 12, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 was already consummated the moment appellant was found in possession of the said articles without the necessary license or prescription. What is primordial is the proof of the illegal drugs and paraphernalia recovered from the petitioner.
Along with the charges against her, supported by the proof of the prosecution, all that appellant could offer was the defense of bare denial. Time and again, this Court held that the defense of denial, like alibi, has been invariably viewed by the courts with disfavor for it can just as easily be concocted and is a common and standard defense ploy in most cases involving violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. To merit consideration, it has to be substantiated by clear and convincing evidence, which appellant failed to do.
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