THE Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the decision of a Quezon City court sentencing three Chinese drug traffickers to life imprisonment.
In a 24-page decision penned by Associate Justice Jhosep Lopez, the CA’s 15th Division dismissed the appeal filed by Zhang Silang Ming, Alex Tan Lim and Robert Ong Cruz as it affirmed the decision dated August 7, 2013 of the city’s Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 227.
The ruling was concurred in by Associate Justices Ramon Garcia and Leoncia Dimagiba.
On July 31, 2003, Ming, Lim and Ong were caught selling 27.9 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu in a buy-bust operation in Eastwood Mall in Libis.
The court found them guilty beyond reasonable doubt for drug pushing.
They were sentenced to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and each was ordered to pay a fine of P1 million.
The lower court’s decision prompted Ming, Lim and Ong to seek redress with the appellate court.
In its November 25, 2016 ruling which was released only recently, the CA held that the lower court was right when it convicted the accused.
“As noted by the RTC, the police officers had no ill-motive to falsely testify against accused-appellants. Their testimonies therefore, should be given full faith and credit,” the CA said.
It added that it found no reason to disbelieve the testimony of the prosecution witnesses.
“Absent any evidence to the contrary, the presumption is that the police officers regularly performed their duties under the law stands,” the CA said.