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AMADO I. SARAUMvs.

PEOPLE OF THE into the body; and (2)such possession is not


PHILIPPINES authorized by law. In this case, the prosecution has
J a n u a r y 2 5 , 2 0 1 6 convincingly established that Saraum was in
possession of drug paraphernalia, particularly
FACTS: aluminum tin foil, rolled tissue paper, and lighter, all of
On August 17, 2006, a telephone call was received by which were offered and admitted in evidence.
PO3 Larrobis regarding the illegal drug activities in
Sitio Camansi, Barangay Lorega, CebuCity. A 2. NO. Although Section 21(1) of R.A. No. 9165
buy-bust team was then formed in mandates that the apprehending team must
coordination with the Philippine Drug immediately conduct a physical inventory of the
Enforcement Agency (PDEA) against a seized items and photograph them, non-compliance
certain "Pata." During the operation, "Pata" therewith is not fatal as long as there is a justifiable
eluded arrest as he tried to run towards his ground and as long as the integrity and the
shanty. The operatives entered the shanty evidentiary value of the confiscated/seized items are
where Saraum and Esperanza were holding drug properly preserved by the apprehending team. While
paraphernalia apparently in preparation to have the procedure on the chain of custody should be
a" s h a b u " p o t s e s s i o n ( 1 ) l i g h t e r ; ( 1 ) perfect and unbroken, in reality, it is almost always
rolled tissue paper; (1) aluminum tin impossible to obtain an unbroken chain. Thus, failure
f o i l ) . T h e confiscated the items were placed to strictly comply with Section
in the plastic pack of misua wrapper, and 21(1), Article II of R.A. No. 9165 does not necessarily
made initial markings. At the police station, the render an accused person's arrest illegal or the itemss
paraphernalia recovered from Saraum were also eized or confiscated from him inadmissible. The most
marked. After the case was filed, the subject items important factor is the preservation of the integrity and
were turned over to the property custodian of the evidentiary value of the seized items. In this case, the
Office of City Prosecutor. Saraum denied the prosecution was able to demonstrate that the integrity
commission of the alleged offense. He testified that and evidentiary value of the confiscated drug
he was just passing when he was held by men with paraphernalia had not been compromised because it
firearms. He learned of the criminal charge only when established the crucial link in the chain of custody of
he was brought to the court. RTC find Saraum guilty the seized items from the time they were first
of the charge. CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. discovered until they were brought to the court for
On appeal, Saraum questioned the decision of the examination.
lower court in finding him guilty of illegal possession of
paraphernalia and the chain of custody of the
items seized.

ISSUE:
1.W /N Saraum is guilty of illegal possession
of paraphernalia.
2.W /N thenon-compliance with thechain of
custody rule render the arrest illegal or the
items confiscated from the accused inadmissible.

HELD:1. YES. The elements of illegal


possession of equipment, instrument,
apparatus and other paraphernalia for dangerous
drugs under Section 12, Article II of R.A. No. 9165
are: (1) possession or control by the accused of any
equipment, apparatus or other paraphernalia fit or
intended for smoking, consuming, administering,
injecting, ingesting, or introducing any dangerous drug