G.R. No. 226679. August 15, 2017.
Petitioner Salvador Estipona, Jr. was found to be in possession of (1) piece heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet of shabu, a dangerous drug. He was accused for violation of Section 11, Article II of R.A. No. 9165. Under Section 23 of R.A. No. 9165, plea-bargaining is prohibited in all drug cases.
Estipona filed a Motion to Allow the Accused to Enter into a Plea Bargaining Agreement, praying to withdraw his not guilty plea and, instead, to enter a plea of guilty for violation of Section 12, Article II of R.A. No. 9165 with a penalty of rehabilitation in view of his being a first-time offender and the minimal quantity of the dangerous drug seized in his possession.
Judge Lobrigo denied the Motion holding that Section 23 of R.A. No. 9165 expressly prohibits plea-bargaining in drugs cases