SC junks appeal of gun ban, drug possession convict

The Supreme Court has affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) convicting a man who violated the election gun ban and illegal possession of dangerous drugs six years ago.

Clarito Galon had assailed the CA’s 27 January 2021 decision sentencing him to an indeterminate period of imprisonment of three years minimum to five years maximum, disqualifying him from public office and depriving him of the right to suffrage, for the gun ban violation.

He was also sentenced to a minimum of 20 years and one day in prison and a maximum of 30 years, and to pay a fine of P400,000, for the drug possession case.

At least five prosecution witnesses testified that at around 7: 15 p.m. on 24 March 2016, Galon was driving a motorcycle along the junction of the service road of Del Rosario and Cararayan, Naga City when police officers manning a checkpoint flagged him down. Galon attempted to evade the checkpoint and passed through the left side gutter of the road, said the witnesses.

When he was apprehended by authorities, he failed to produce documents and was caught in possession of a hand grenade and illegal drugs.

For his defense, Galon denied the charges and claimed he was framed by the police. It was only after he was flagged down and ticketed for failing to show his license and registration that he saw the grenade and illegal drugs in his possession, he said.

In a consolidated judgment on 6 June 2019, the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 61 of Naga City found Galon guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of the gun ban and drug possession.

He was, however, acquitted of the charge of illegal possession of explosives.

Galon then elevated the RTC decision to the CA, which upheld the RTC.

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