R.A. No. 9165 penalizes illegal drug trafficking

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I was told that my father-in-law is now facing criminal charges under Sections 5 and 11 of R. A. No. 9165. Can you enlighten me what these violations are all about so that I can also inform my husband who is currently working abroad. Is it also legal for my father-in-law to be arrested even if no warrant of arrest was shown to him? I am looking forward for your soonest reply. Thank you.
Aira

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Dear Aira,
Section 5 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, penalizes any person who participates in the sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of any dangerous drugs, including any and all species of opium poppy regardless of the quantity and purity involved, or who acts as a broker in any of such transactions. It likewise penalizes any person who sells, trades, administers, dispenses, delivers, gives away to another, distributes or transports any controlled precursor and essential chemical or who acts as a broker in such transactions, unless he or she is authorized by law.

On the other hand, Section 11 of R. A. No. 9165 imposes penalty of imprisonment ranging from twelve (12) years and one (1) day to life imprisonment and a fine ranging from P300,000 to P10 million, depending on the quantity of the drugs involved, upon any person who is caught in possession of dangerous drugs, unless he or she is authorized by law.

In general, your father-in-law may not be arrested without a warrant of arrest because all persons have an inviolable right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose. This is in consonance with Section 2, Article III of our 1987 Constitution.

Nevertheless, if you father-in-law was caught in flagrante delicto or while he is in possession of any kind of dangerous drugs or transacting the same to another person, he may be lawfully arrested even without a warrant of arrest. As provided for under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, “A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person: (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; (b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.”

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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