By Lito Rulona
LYNARD Allan Bigcas tested positive for substance abuse but the prosecutor’s office decided not to use the result of the laboratory examination as evidence as it pressed illegal arms and drug possession charges against him in court yesterday.
Bigcas, who was arrested by narcotics agents near the Rodelsa Circle at dawn Saturday, was also allowed to bail out. He was released from detention late in the afternoon.
The City Prosecutor’s Office approved the filing of the following charges against Bigcas: illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, illegal possession of dangerous drugs and paraphernalia.
City Prosecutor Fidel Macauyag said he dismissed the information on the illegal use of dangerous drugs despite the results of an examination released by the police’s crime laboratory that Bigcas had traces of dangerous substances in his system.
Macauyag said the information cannot be used in court, citing a Supreme Court (SC) ruling against the conviction of any person for using drugs unless he or she was caught in the act of abusing the dangerous substances. Such, he said, “is inadmissible as evidence in court.”
A court reportedly set bail for illegal arms possession at P80 thousand, P200 thousand for the illegal possession of dangerous drugs and nother P40 thousand for possession of illegal drug paraphernalia.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) regional director Robert Opena confirmed that Bigcas’s urine sample showed that the suspect was into substance abuse.
“But it’s (the finding is) not admissible in court and so the drug-use charge was dropped… He even admitted that he has been using drugs for quite some time now,” he said.
PDEA earlier informed prosecutors that Bigcas tested positive of drug use, hoping a fourth charge could be included.
Bigcas, a resident of Poblacion,Talakag, Bukidnon, rose to prominence last year after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) raided his houses in his hometown and in Kauswagan, this city, and seized a collection of cars and motorcycles that were believed to have been smuggled from the US. The raids resulted in a House inquiry.
Months later, Bigcas was linked to the shooting of a lawyer in Davao City. There are unconfirmed reports that the case was settled out of court.
Talk has it that Bigcas is planning to run for mayor in Talakag town. Narcotics agents found a certificate of candidacy from the elections commission in the pick-up truck Bigcas was using at the time of his arrest last Saturday.