A PHILIPPINE court has convicted Mexican Horacio Hernandez Herrera, an alleged member of the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel, for the sale of illegal drugs in 2015.
In a seven-page decision, Acting Presiding Judge Selma Palacio Alaras of the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 63 sentenced Mr. Herrera to life imprisonment and fined P500,000 to P10 million for violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Mr. Herrera was arrested during a buy-bust operation last Jan. 11, 2015 at the parking area of a restaurant along Makati Ave., where he was caught selling 2,560.7 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of around P12 million.
The Mexican national is allegedly a “mid-level” member of the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel. Mr. Herrera was said to have supplied cocaine, ecstasy, and methamphetamine hydrochloride (locally known as shabu) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
The judge said the prosecution established the legality of Mr. Herrera’s arrest as the evidence proved all the elements of the crime of sale of dangerous drugs.
Ms. Alaras also said that Herrera “merely denied the accusation against him” and there were no eyewitnesses to support his claim.
“The court cannot give credence to his testimony as his defense was unsubstantiated with evidence,” the judge ruled.
Department of Justice Undersecretary and Spokesperson Markk L. Perete hailed the decision, saying, “The Department welcomes the conviction handed down by Judge Alaras and congratulates its prosecutors for their able handling of this case. It is through their efforts, as well as that of our law enforcers, that we are able to keep safe our communities.” — Vann Marlo M. Villegas