People of the Philippines v Zafra Maraorao; G.R. No. 174369; 20 Jun 2012

in Legal Chyme by

The Western Police District received reliable information that an undetermined amount of shabu will be delivered inside the Islamic Center in Quiapo. Four police officers went to the Center and saw two men talking to each other. Upon noticing the police officers, one of the men ran away while the other, accused-appellant, was left behind along with a dropped maroon bag which contained shabu. Accused-appellant was arrested, tried and convicted for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act, as amended.

Whether or not the prosecution was able to overcome accused-appellant’s presumption of innocence.

NO. For testimonial evidence to be believed, it must come from a credible witness and be credible in itself — tested by human experience, observation, common knowledge and accepted conduct that has evolved through the years. The prosecution failed to establish by proof beyond reasonable doubt that appellant was indeed in possession of shabu, and that he freely and consciously possessed the same.

Suspicion no matter how strong must never sway judgment. Where there is reasonable doubt, the accused must be acquitted even though their innocence may not have been established. The Constitution presumes a person is innocent until proven guilty by proof beyond reasonable doubt. When guilt is not proven with moral certainty, the presumption of innocence must be favored, and exoneration granted as a matter of right.

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