People vs Gangoso
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ELIZABETH GANGUSO
G.R. No. 115430
The instant appeal is partly granted, and the challenged decision of the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City is modified. As modified, accusedaccusedappellant Beth is acquitted for the charge of illegal possession of firearms on ground of reasonable doubt. doubt. The penalty imposed on on her for the violation of section 15, Article III of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 is reduced to an indeterminate sentence of three months of arresto mayor , as minimum, to three years of prision prision correccional , as maximum.
November 23, 1995
DAVIDE, JR., J.: Facts: Major Juvenile Sulapas, Officer-in-charge, Dangerous Drugs Enforcement Section, Pasay City Police Station, received a confidential report from an informant about the rampant trafficking of drugs by Elizabeth Ganguso y Decena Decena a.k.a. "Beth Tomboy". A buy-bust operation was planned with Dennis Vermug acting as poseur-buyer, backed-up by SPO1 Lumapat, SPO1 Gabutin, PO3s Mendoza and Garcia with SPO3 Fucanan as team leader. The operation was carried out and they were successful in arresting Beth for the violation of Dangerous Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. At the same time, they were able to recover a .38 caliber Paltik revolver from the suspect. Several documentary exhibits were presented as evidence to the crime. Beth made statements statements in her her testimony different to that that of the police’s: policemen barged into her house, searched the premises and her person without a warrant and; denied the revolver recovered from her. At the trial, defense presented two witnesses who also claimed that no buy bust operation took place and no revolver was in the possession of the suspect. Nevertheless, the Regional Trial Court of Pasay convicted her of both charges. She was sentenced to suffer the penalty penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine plus costs costs for the crime involving involving drugs. She was also sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of ten years and one day of prision mayor , as minimum, to twelve years and one day, as maximum, with fine and costs for the crime of illegal possession of firearms. Hence, Beth appealed.
Ratio Decidendi: Supreme Court held that the elements of a contract of sale were present. Beth is presumed to have given her consent by not inquiring inquiring as to the meaning of “S” when the officer posed to buy “Php 500 worth of S”. Therefore, there was a meeting of minds minds upon upon a definite object and upon the price. Though she was not in possession of the object of sale, Article 1459 merely requires that the vendor must have the right to transfer ownership of the object object sold at the time of delivery. delivery. In the case at bar, though Beth is not the owner, she had the right to dispose of the prohibited drug. Ownership was thereafter acquired acquired upon her delivery to the men in the alley after her payment of the price. Supreme Court also held that failure to conduct prior surveillance and absence of marked money does not affect the evidence of the prosecution. It is sufficient that that the members members of the operation operation were accompanied by the informant to the scene; the sale was adequately proven and; the drug subject was presented before the court. As regards the penalty imposed, imposed, since the shabu only weighs weighs 0.1954 grams, penalty should be prision correccional to reclusion temporal depending upon the quantity. Applying R.A. No. 7659, ISLAW, ISLAW, and the decision in the case of People v. Simon, proper penalty should be within the range of arresto mayor to prision correccional.
Issue: Whether the trial court erred in finding that the prosecution has fully met the test of moral certainty as to the guilt of the accused on both charges of violation of section 15, Article III of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 and of illegal possession of firearms.
R.A. No. 7659, amending R.A. No. 6425, took effect on 31 December 1993. 1993. Being patently favorable to the the appellant, that that amendatory law should be applied retroactively. ISLAW: If an an offense under the RPC is also punishable punishable by another law, the court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall not exceed the
maximum fixed by said law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by the same. Finally, there was no proof that Beth is guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the possession of firearms. Hence, presumption of innocence stands for failure of the prosecution to establish such guilt.