Court holds bail hearings on Marcaida case

Authorities have tagged Marcaida as a “protector” of the illegal drug trade and included him in the narco list as early as October 2016. (File photo)

The Regional Trial Court Branch 49 has started hearings on the bail petition of detained vice mayor Luis Marcaida who is facing criminal charges for possessing illegal drugs, firearms, and explosives.

On Tuesday, November 21, RTC Branch 49 Judge Arnel Cezar allowed the prosecution to present two witnesses, bringing evidence in support of their bid to block Marcaida’s bail petition.

A forensic chemical officer with the provincial police confirmed the presence of methamphetamine or shabu in the 30 heat-sealed transparent sachets containing a white crystalline substance, all found in Marcaida’s house during a raid on September 4.

As the defense and prosecution examined the sachets, Marcaida in bulletproof vest was seen sitting on the left side of the courtroom, leaning on the wall and shaking his head. Her wife, Monette, was on the opposite side, weeping.

Questioning the integrity of the specimens, Marcaida’s legal counsel, Atty. Zoilo Cruzat, moved to reweigh the evidence and compare them to their initial weight when they were seized.

“These were planted evidence,” he said. “If there’s a very substantial difference, it would render the evidence doubtful.”

Cezar, however, denied the motion and sided with the prosecution who argued that the substances’ weight was irrelevant, as the test was limited only to the determination of the presence of dangerous drugs.

On one hand, a police officer who received the firearms and explosives from the raid’s searching officers was also summoned to testify.

The court allowed the prosecution to bring seven more witnesses in the upcoming bail petition hearings on December 12 and 15.

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