The case of “People of the Philippines vs. Jehar Reyes” under G.R. No. 199271 has displayed a “justice delayed-justice deny case”. It took a total period of almost 14 years and 8 days from the time that the accused Jehar Reyes was arrested for alleged sale of illegal drugs known as “shabu” by the police until he was finally acquitted by the Supreme Court on October 16, 2016.
Case Of Illegal Sale Of “Shabu”
Jehar Reyes was arrested for the alleged sale of illegal drugs “shabu” on November 27, 2002 by the police authority and subsequently charged in an Information for “Violation of Section 5, Article II, of Republic Act No. 9165” otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002”.
When arraigned the accused denied the accusation.
After the trial, the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City Branch 10 has rendered a decision dated March 09, 2007 convicting the accused for the crime of sale of drugs and imposing upon him the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of 500,000.00 Philippine Pesos.
He appeal his conviction before the Court of Appeal contending among other things that the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City Branch 10 has erred in convicting him since according to the accused, the prosecution has failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
The Court of Appeal however sustained the judgment of conviction by the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City Branch 10 in its entirety per its decision dated June 13, 2011.
Thus, he elevated the ruling of the Court of Appeal before the Supreme Court. The latter being the court of last resort.
On October 19, 2016, the Supreme Court has reverse and set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal and acquitted the accused for the crime of “Violation of Sec. 5, Art. II of R.A. 9165” otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002” and at the same time ordered his immediate release from the Bureau of Corrections National Penitentiary, Muntinlupa City.
Unreasonable Delay In The Case Disposition
It took almost 4 years and 3 months and 10 days from the time that the accused was arrested on November 27, 2002 until the Regional Trial Court has rendered its Decision on March 09, 2007.
On appeal from the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City Branch 10 to the Court of Appeal, it almost took 4 years and 3 months and 4 days before the Court of Appeal ruled on his appeal on June 13, 2011.
From the ruling of the Court of Appeal up to the elevation of the case to the Supreme Court, it took the latter court almost 5 years and 4 months and 6 days before the same finally rendered a favorable judgment of acquittal to the accused.
Thus, it almost took an entire period of 14 years and 8 days before Jehar Reyes obtained justice in this instant case.
What very slow system of justice indeed when in fact there are so many people are wrongfully charged of drug offenses?
Case reference: People of the Philippines vs. Jehar Reyes G.R. No. 199271 http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/pdf/web/viewer.html?file=/jurisprudence/2016/october2016/199271.pdf