PNP to review protocol on chain of custody rule after court drops case vs rapper Loonie

Published June 24, 2021, 3:33 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is now reviewing its protocol in ensuring that the chain of custody rule is being properly observed in its operations following the dropping of drug charges against rapper Loonie, Marlon Peroramas in real life.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said that the dismissal of the case against the rapper over technicalities is a wake-up call to further improve the protocol in order to ensure that the hard work of all policemen should not be put to waste.

“Every time this happens, we always make an effort to review and reassess our protocols to determine if there were lapses and if there’s a need to recalibrate our guidelines,” said Eleazar.

The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 64 dismissed the drug case against rapper Loonie, Marlon Peroramas in real life, over the “unjustified deviation” from the chain of custody rule by the arresting officer.

The case stemmed from the arrest of Peroramas, his sister and three other people in an alleged buy-bust operation in Makati City on September 2019 where police operatives allegedly seized 15 sachets of kush or high-grade marijuana.

In its ruling, the local court pointed out, “There was no evidence presented or there was even no attempt to justify the absence of an elected public official or a representative from the Department of Justice during the buy-bust operation.”

“What the policemen in this case should do is treat this as a learning experience and get the lesson from the rebuke by the judge particularly in terms of strictly following the chain of custody rule in evidence, which is vital to the credibility of any police operation particularly in the prosecution of drug cases,” said Eleazar.

Following the dismissal of the drug case, Peroramas said he was considering filing counter-charges against the police.

Eleazar said that Peroramas has all the rights to file any case.

“We will respect his decision and ensure that the respondents face the complaint,” the PNP Chief said.