Saturday 22 September, 2018
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Fail! CA junks drug case because prosecutors forgot authorization

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The Court of Appeals (CA) has quashed the drug possession charges against a La Union suspect because the prosecution failed to indicate prior authorization in its charge sheets.

In a recent 10-page decision, the CA 4th Division ordered the release of Elpidio Villanueva as a result of the dismissal of his charges for violation of Sections 11 and 12 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

It set aside the Agoo Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 32’s October 2015 order to proceed with the criminal cases.

Villanueva was arrested on May 12, 2015 in his house in Aringay, La Union, on the basis of a search warrant.

The CA said prosecutors did not properly file the informations against him, stripping the Agoo court of its jurisdiction over the case.

This was because the informations signed by inquest prosecutor, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Braulio Tade, did not contain any stamp of approval from the provincial prosecutor.

This was also the case for the amended information signed by trial prosecutor Gaudencio Valdez Jr.

The CA noted the prosecution, as well as the Office of the Solicitor-General, never addressed the issue when it was raise by Villanueva.

The Agoo RTC’s failure to quash the informations “constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction,” declared the decision penned by Associate Justice Elihu Ybañez.

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