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PDEA LAUDS COURT OF APPEALS’ DECISION

Affirms conviction of Malaysian drug trafficker

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) expressed its appreciation to the Court of Appeals (CA) for upholding the decision of a regional trial court imposing life prison terms against Lim Ting Chong, a Malaysian national.

Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr., Director General of PDEA is elated over justice taking its course. In a 12-page decision, the appellate court’s First Division denied Chong’s petition for lack of merit seeking to nullify the erstwhile ruling of Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) in September 2013.

Chong was arrested by PDEA operatives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 on April 14, 2010 after his checked-in baggage form Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yielded 14 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu.

The appellate court junked Chong’s argument that the Pasay RTC made a mistake when it ruled that the arrest was valid in spite of the absence of a search warrant. The court also dismissed Chong’s petition that the warrantless search is unjustifiable because the search was neither conducted on a vessel or aircraft nor involved a prohibited article in plain view, nor was it incident to a lawful arrest.

The CA noted that Chong’s denial of ownership of the luggage containing the illegal drug brushes aside his claim of being illegally searched. The court also affirms the logical conclusion that the accused-appellant owns the luggage bearing his name tag, even while
such luggage possesses the same while checked in upon boarding the plane from Malaysia.

“PDEA is grateful to the CA’s First Division for the favorable ruling and looks forward to a greater replication of fairness and lawfulness in the country’s Criminal Justice System with regard to anti-drug cases,” Cacdac said. (Mr. Glenn J. Malapad, OIC, Public Information Office, PDEA)

Posted By: Edrillan Pasion

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