3 Brits, Aussie plead not guilty to drug charges

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Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson: ‘Sole witness’. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Three Britons and an Australian who were arrested earlier this year by Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson after he reportedly caught them smoking marijuana inside his house in Quezon City, pleaded not guilty in court Thursday to the drug charges.

British nationals James Gates, brothers Jack and Ross Barnaby McLeod, and the Mcleods’ half-brother, Australian national Arthur Murray Nash, face charges of violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court’s Branch 227.

They entered their not guilty plea before Judge Elvira Panganiban through their lawyer Elizabeth Macaibay who waived the reading of the information against her clients.

Based on court records, the four foreigners were reportedly guests of the governor’s son Christian Singson at his house in Corinthian Gardens on Jan. 13 when his father arrived.

The older Singson said he carried out a citizen’s arrest when he caught them smoking marijuana.

During the arraignment, Macaibay told the court that the governor, whom she described as the “sole witness” to the alleged crime, had submitted an affidavit to the city prosecutor to say that he would no longer pursue the drug charges against the four men.

The judge, meanwhile, assured the lawyer that the court would take note of the older Singson’s statement as she set the joint pretrial and trial of the case on Aug. 14.

At the same time, she reminded the accused to ensure that they would be present at the next scheduled hearing to avoid the revocation of their bail bonds as well as the issuance of arrest warrants against them.

The judge also ordered that the forensics chemist from the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory and investigator PO3 Alex Palmenco of the Quezon City Police District’s Eastwood station be issued subpoenas for the next hearing.

Following the foreigners’ arrest in January, Assistant City Prosecutor Irene Resurreccion found probable cause to file drug charges against them despite their insistence that no drugs were found in their possession.

In their counteraffidavit, the accused claimed that the only items seized from them during the citizen’s arrest made by Ilocos Sur governor were tobacco and a cigarette. They also stated in their sworn statement that they were friends with the governor’s son.

Resurreccion, however, cited the results of laboratory tests carried out on the accused as the basis for her decision to recommend the filing of drug charges against them in court.—With Bernadette Nicolas

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  • Hunter421

    Was there ANY evidence?

    • foreignerph

      Being a foreigner is evidence enough.

      • Hunter421

        How true. Sad that foreigners in the Philippines are held to a standard 10x higher than Filipinos.

  • panhase

    Wasn´t there an ex-governor who´s son did spend some time in jail in Hongkong as a convicted drug-pusher? Can´t remember the name at the moment.

    • Luthmar

      You mean si Chavit Singson? Ayaw mo lang sabihin, ako na lang magsabi. At saka pangalan ng anak nya Ronald Singson. Elected one more time. I forgot what position in the local govenment lang.

  • http://twitter.com/Joe_The_Kano Joe Kano

    This whole thing is so utterly preposterous and mind-boggling that it’s hard to know where to begin.

    Let’s just say the hypocrisy is rather rank indeed.

  • boybakal

    3 Brits, Aussie plead not guilty to drug charges

    This is filipinos reverse hospitality.
    They were invited in the house of Chavit, and he arrested them.
    Chavit has no authority to arrest, he has no arrest warrant.
    There can be no citizen arrest in Host and Visitor.

    • kanoy

      ITS MORE FUN TO BE MILKED FOR YOUR MONEY IN THE PHILIPPINES

    • foreignerph

      It’s most probably entrapment. They think foreigners are easy victims, and they are right. A court will always convict a foreigner and “witnesses” are easily found for the right favors. In that case you will just have to pay more to the “witnesses” and the case is closed. That’s why, after a couple of very insulting experiences with the much hailed “Filipino hospitality” I never accepted an invitation again. In the best case, you are supposed to pay for all the food (and once for 5 boxes of pampers for their baby) of the “host”. No thanks, In our book, that isn’t hospitality.

  • beardedone

    Little rich coming from this guy to accuse anyone of doing anything criminal…

    • kanoy

      HONG KONG (3rd UPDATE) – A Hong Kong court on Thursday sentenced Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson to one year and six months in prison for illegal drug possession.

      Singson had earlier pleaded guilty to drug trafficking.

  • Mark

    Bisita ng anak? So adik din ung anak, pwede bang maglakas loob ung mga foreigner gumamit ng drugs dun kung walang pahintulot ng anak. Pamilyang adik pala e2, ang problema binoboto pa rin sila ng mga bobong botante.

  • Mel Martinez

    LOL, panapanahon lang daw yan sabi ni Mang Chavit! Baka naka high ang Mama kaya napag tripan ang mga puti na bisita mismo ng kanyang anak. Iskandaloso si Mang Chavit at nakuha pang mag Citizen arrest, eh bakit kaya hinde nya inaresto muna ang kanyang sariling anak na na convict pa sa China? Ang mga pulitikerong pulpol nga talaga sa Pilipinas oo, kasi binoboto pa sila ng mga ewan na mga botante sa Ilocos Sur.

  • Marx Louis Wang

    good job Gov Singson, hindi porque kaibigans ng anak mo okay na mag hithit sa poder mo. Turuan mo ng leksyon ang mga yan.

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