Close  

Palace: Uy case a lesson to antidrug enforcers

But Panelo says acquittal of convicted drug dealer’s daughter not a ‘big dent’
/ 05:06 AM October 29, 2018

Malacañang reminded antinarcotics agents to be more careful in preserving the “chain of custody” of evidence in illegal drug cases following the acquittal of Diana Yu Uy, daughter of convicted “drug queen” Yu Yuk Lai, last week.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Sunday that Uy’s case should serve as a lesson to antidrug agencies.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We’ve been always saying that [to] those involved in raids, in arresting drug personalities. Be careful because many get acquitted because of [a] technicality. You cannot blame the court for its findings,” he said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer.

However, Panelo said her acquittal was not a big dent on the government’s war on drugs.

FEATURED STORIES

Uy was arrested by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agents in a raid in November 2017, during which 682.92 grams of “shabu” (crystal meth) were supposedly found in her house in Manila.

Judge’s ruling

Judge Daniel Villanueva of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 49, however, cited several reasons to acquit her: the tampering of surveillance cameras in the condominium, the failure of trained dogs to detect the shabu, the entry of a PDEA clearing team without Uy or any media or a barangay representative present, and the break in the chain of custody of the evidence.

The court took note of PDEA agents’ testimony that they did not follow standard procedure for drug seizures.

Under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the chain of custody requires the arresting team—having initial custody and control of the drugs — to immediately undertake a physical inventory of the confiscated drugs, and to take photographs while in the presence of the accused or the accused’s counsel.

The law also requires a representative from media and the Department of Justice, and any elected public official to sign copies of the inventory.

The illegal drugs must be submitted to the PDEA forensic laboratory for a qualitative and quantitative examination within 24 hours.

ADVERTISEMENT

24-hour deadline

The examiner must then make a certification of the forensic laboratory results within 24 hours.

“The chain of custody means that from the time that the drugs are found, up to the court, there is a process, a protocol that is followed. If you don’t abide by it, there’s an acquittal,” Panelo said.

“That should serve a lesson to all PDEA agents, police operatives conducting drug raids or arresting persons involved in drugs. They should follow the law and not violate the chain of custody,” he added.

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: antidrug agents, Daniel Villanueva, Diana Yu Uy, Manila RTC Branch 49, PDEA, Salvador Panelo, war on drugs, Yu yuk lai
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.