If found guilty for possession of kilo of marijuana
IF found guilty for possession of a kilo of marijuana, actor Mark Anthony Fernandez -- son of the late action star Rudy Fernandez and actress-turned-politician Alma Moreno -- faces life imprisonment and a penalty ranging from P500,000 to P10,000,000.
Under RA 9165, possession of 500 grams or more of marijuana carries the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000) to Ten million pesos (P10,000,000).
The law says that the penalty shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall possess any dangerous drug in the following quantities, regardless of the degree of purity thereof:
(1) 10 grams or more of opium; (2) 10 grams or more of morphine; (3) 10 grams or more of heroin; (4) 10 grams or more of cocaine or cocaine hydrochloride; (5) 50 grams or more of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu”; (6) 10 grams or more of marijuana resin or marijuana resin oil; (7) 500 grams or more of marijuana; and (8) 10 grams or more of other dangerous drugs such as, but not limited to, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDA) or “ecstasy”, paramethoxyamphetamine (PMA), trimethoxyamphetamine (TMA), lysergic acid diethylamine (LSD), gamma hydroxyamphetamine (GHB), and those similarly designed or newly introduced drugs and their derivatives, without having any therapeutic value or if the quantity possessed is far beyond therapeutic requirements, as determined and promulgated by the Board in accordance to Section 93, Article XI of the Act.
The arrest of Fernandez came in the wake of the ongoing campaign against showbiz personalities involved in illegal drug activities ordered by PNP chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa. So far, agents of the Quezon City Police District headed by Senior Superintendent Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar have arrested former sexy actress Krista Miller (real name Krystalyn Bacolod Engle) and former adult film star Sabrina M (real name Karen Pallasigue) for trafficking of shabu.
Gen. dela Rosa has ordered his men to spare no one, even showbiz personalities in the war against drugs.
The actor was driving a yellow Ford Mustang with plate no. ZGN-667 when he was flagged down by members of the Angeles City Police Station 6 who were manning an anti-criminality checkpoint along the McArthur Highway in Barangay Vergel de los Remedios 8:30 p.m. Monday, said Angeles City Police Office director, Senior Superintendent Sydney N. Villaflor.
Instead of yielding for inspection, the actor stepped on the gas and fled towards the direction of San Fernando City where he was intercepted by the local police due to heavy traffic. Villaflor said that when accosted, the suspect who was identified as the former young actor yielded a pack of dried marijuana leaves weighing about a kilo. The evidence tested positive for TH Metabolites which are active ingredients of marijuana when examined by the Angeles City Crime Laboratory. The seized drug evidence will be subjected to a confirmatory test by the PNP Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame.
During questioning, Fernandez, a resident of no. 84 Don Rufino Street, Tahanan Village in Parañaque City, identified one ‘Francis’ as the source of the cannabis seized from his possession. The marijuana source, said to be a resident of Bgy. Ninoy Aquino in Angeles City, is still being hunted by the police.
In a report to Police Regional Office 3 director, Chief Supt Aaron N. Aquino, Villaflor said their record check showed that the 1992 model Ford Mustang being driven by Fernandez was sporting the plate no. ZGN-667 which was originally issued to a 2007 model royal sienna Nissan Urvan registered last July 13.
The Urvan has no record Land Transportation Office (LTO) apprehension and LTO alarm.
Villaflor said that the Urvan and the Mustang are not included in the alarm list of the PNP Highway Patrol Group but they will subject the engine and chassis numbers of the muscle car to a macro-etching examination to determine its real background.
Now detained in an Angeles City Police detention facility, Fernandez will be facing charges for violation of Section 11 or Possession of Dangerous Drugs of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Dela Rosa earlier guaranteed that celebrities including movie and television personalities who are into illegal drug activities will not be exempted from the ongoing PNP Oplan: Tokhang which may even be brought to their home stations.
Two weeks ago, PNP officials called on showbiz, music and sports personalities who are into drugs to yield and submit themselves to a treatment program.
Officials said a number of actors have been monitored to be actively involved in drug pushing and abuse, some of them already with previous drug-related arrests while some have been apprehended in the past by rogues in uniform but were released after coughing up huge amount of money.
The 37-year old Fernandez was placed under arrest when a visual inspection of his car led in the discovery of a dark blue bag containing a torn plastic with what looked like dried marijuana leaves.
Police said that the actor, separated from his wife and who also stays at Room 702 Horizon Condo along Don Juico Street in Clark Airforce City, Pampanga, claimed that the marijuana was for medical reasons only.
Found inside the blue bag were about a kilo of dried marijuana leaves, a small yellow plastic with marijuana residues and a cannabis mechanical grinder.
Aquino said that the arrest of the suspect is part of their aggressive campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse in Central Luzon.
“We continue to carry out our anti-drug campaign regardless of who will be arrested. This only goes to show that, indeed, our all-out war against illegal drugs is not just lip service,” Aquino said.
The young Fernandez is included in the watch list of the PNP, he having been arrested on drug-related charges during his younger days prompting his parents to send him to the government-run drug rehabilitation center in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City where he stayed for nearly a year.
Police Regional Office 3 director Chief Supt. Aaron N. Aquino yesterday said the doctor who told arrested actor Mark Anthony Fernandez to use marijuana as medicine to treat cancer should be held liable and charge in court.
Aquino made the statement following Fernandez’ earlier disclosure to media that his doctor advised him to smoke marijuana as a preventive measure against cancer.