The Supreme Court has again acquitted a drug convict on ground of reasonable doubt after the prosecution failed to establish the essential element of delivery of dangerous drug by the accused to the poseur-buyer.
In a 19-page decision written by Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, the SC’s First Division ordered the Davao Prison and Penal Farm to immediately release Rogelio Yagao from detention unless he is legally confined for another lawful cause.
Yagao was convicted in 2011 by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 25, Cagayan de Oro City for violation of Section 5, Article II of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. The RTC decision was upheld by the Court of Appeals in 2014.
Yagao was caught with one transparent plastic bag containing 7.40 grams of dried marijuana during an alleged buy-bust operation in 2006 at Zone 4, Bugo, Cagayan de Oro City.
The tribunal ruled that the prosecution failed to establish the essential element of the delivery of the dangerous drug by the accused-appellant to the poseur-buyer.
Citing the transcript of stenographic notes, the High Court noted that the cop who acted as poseur-buyer quickly effected Yagao’s arrest just as soon as he had pulled out the marijuana from his pocket, hence, the seizure happened before Yagao could hand over the illegal drug.