Above all, please realize that the possession or sale of marijuana is not legal in the Philippines. If you plan to visit the Philippines or already reside here and smoke weed you could face arrest. Today’s post, “65-year-old Lawyer Arrested Carrying 50 Pesos-worth Dried Marijuana Leaves” should serve as a warning to any “pot-heads” out there. Please be aware that laws in the Philippines regarding marijuana usage could be very different from what you may be accustomed.
65-year-old Lawyer Arrested Carrying 50 Pesos-worth Dried Marijuana Leaves
Caesar Antonio Tabotabo is a lawyer who resides in Guadalupe village in Lapu-Lapu City. He arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on Friday, November 15, 2019. Manila was the attorney’s destination.
The barrister underwent initial screening at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The Office of Transportation Security (OTS) conducted the screening.
Alarms go off
As security personnel were conducting their screening, the lawyer passed by. An alarm sounded. Tabotabo was searched. OTS personnel requested the lawyer to open the pack.
Put the cigarette pack on the table.
Security opened the pack and discovered the dried marijuana leaves.
Summoned were the PDEA-7 (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Region 7) and the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office. The PDEA-7 held Tabotabo.
The Dangerous Drugs Board valued the dried marijuana leaves at 50 Philippine Peso, one US dollar.
Lawyer Faces up to 20 years in jail
The lawyer faces violation of Section 11, Article II of Republic Act 9165 that penalizes the possession of illegal drugs.
If convicted, the attorney could face imprisonment of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years. He also faces a fine ranging from Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000.00) to Four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000.00.) That’s 6,000 to 8,000 US dollars.
(With reporting from the Philippine News Agency and the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library.)