ORMOC CITY – A 29-year old woman who was caught in a buy-bust with more than half-a-kilo of ”shabu” or methamphetamine hydrochloride in her possession last December 9, 2022 in Brgy. Linao, this city, was slapped with two life sentences by a regional trial court judge here for her crimes. 

Facing the double life sentence is Reaiza Caacoy Wenceslao alias “Madame or Lyka” who was busted for selling a police-poseur 45.15 grams of shabu worth PHP 350,000, and whose bag, on inspection, yielded another 58 sachets of shabu totaling to 693.6 grams. She was also ordered to pay a fine of PHP 500,000 for each count. 

Police filed two cases of violation of RA No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Anti-Illegal Drugs Act against her. One, for selling and another, for possession. 

The woman pusher, whose testimony reveals that she was called the “hogger” in their group or the one who made the drug drops in their distribution chain, initially pleaded guilty to the charges against her. She retracted it later, claiming she only pleaded guilty because she was threatened by the police, especially one named “Cyrus.” 

Judge Maria Corazon S. Vergara-Naraja, presiding judge of RTC Branch 47, did not allow Wenceslao’s retraction of her guilty plea. The judge noted that the woman pusher was educated having gone to college and finished second year of her education course. 

She, however, noted that in one hearing, it was gleaned that the pusher was not fully cognizant of the difference between selling and possession. 

“Regardless,” the judge said, “the Court is still mandated to resolve whether the accused, based on the prosecution’s evidence, can be convicted of the crimes charged.”

Judge Naraja said that the elements of illegal sale under Section 5, Article 11 of RA No. 9165 were present. The same also for illegal possession under Section 11, Article 11 of RA No. 9165.  The decision was handed down on the accused on June 2, 2023 in open court. (EV Mail May 29-June 4, 2023 issue)