BY ROGER M. BALANZA
DAVAO CITY – Drug lords and pushers facing charges in court often get off the hook because drug law enforcers lack training on custody of evidence.
Davao Region state prosecutor Antonio Arellano said many of the drug cases are dropped due to a break in the chain of custody of confiscated drugs, a rule often violated by untrained drug law enforcers.
Violation of this provision is enough ground to dismiss cases against those facing charges under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 or the Anti-Drugs Act.
Arellano’s comment comes as a Muntinlupa Trial Court judge
acquitted Richard Brodett and Jorge Joseph, two of the controversial “Alabang Boys.”
In dismissing the charges, Judge Juanita Guerrero of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204 said the prosecution failed to establish the links in the chain of custody of drugs taken from Brodett and Joseph during their arrest nearly 3 years ago. The judge also pointed out inconsistencies in the testimony of the prosecution witness.
Brodett and Joseph, both members of prominent families, were arrested by elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Special Enforcement Service in Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa on September 20, 2008.
PDEA agents with evidence and a suspected shabu dealer