Possession of illicit drugs | The Manila Times


Dear PAO,

I was arrested for possession of 0.05 grams of marijuana buds and charged with violation of Section 11 of Republic Act (RA) 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002). What is RA 9165 Section 11 and the penalty for said offence?


Dear Carl,

Section 11, Article II of Republic Act (RA) 9165 (the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) deals with the possession of illegal drugs. The Supreme Court in People of the Philippines v. Rolando Santos y Zaragoza (GR 233142, January 17, 2018), through Associate Judge Samuel Martires, reviewed the elements of Article 11 or Possession of Dangerous Drugs, namely: “(1) the accused is in possession of an item or object identified as a prohibited or restricted drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and knowingly possessed the drug xxx xxx xxx Illegal possession of controlled drugs is mala prohibita and as such criminal intent is not an essential element, however the prosecution must prove that the accused intended to possess (animus posidendi) the Possession, under the law, includes not only actual possession, but also constructive possession. Actual possession exists when the drug is in the possession or under the immediate control of the accused. On the other hand, possession implicit exists when the drug is under the domi nation and control of the accused ac or where he has the right to exercise dominion and control over his whereabouts. xxx xxx xxx (emphasis provided).

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The penalty for violation of Section 11 varies depending on the type and amount of illegal drugs found in the perpetrator’s possession. It begins with imprisonment from 12 years and one day to 20 years and a fine ranging from 300,000 to 400,000 pesos up to life imprisonment and a fine ranging from 500,000 to 10 million pesos.

In relation to your case, Section 11(3) of RA 9165 states that: “Section 11. Possession of dangerous drugs. – The penalty of xxx

“(3) Imprisonment from twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000.00) to four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000.00), if the quantities of dangerous drugs are less than five (5) grams of opium, morphine, heroin, cocaine or cocaine hydrochloride, marijuana resin or marijuana resin oil, hydrochloride of methamphetamine or ‘shabu’, or other dangerous drugs such as, but not limited to, MDMA or ‘ecstasy’, PMA, TMA, LSD, GHB, and similarly designed or newly introduced drugs and their derivatives, without having any therapeutic value or if the quantity possessed is far beyond the therapeutic needs; or less than three hundred (300) grams of marijuana.”

So, to uphold your conviction, the prosecution must show evidence that the marijuana fruiting buds were recovered from your actual or suspected possession and that such possession is not authorized by law. To answer your question on the penalty, the taxable penalty for violation of article 11 is imprisonment from 12 years and one day to 20 years and a fine ranging from 300,000 to 400,000 pesos for those found in possession of less than five grams of illegal food. drugs. We hope we were able to answer your questions.

This advice is based solely on the facts you have related and our assessment of them. Our opinion may change when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily chronicle of the public ministry. Questions for Chef Acosta can be sent to [email protected]


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