Bukas, August 2, darating si Nora Aunor sa Pilipinas, matapos ang walong taon na pamamalagi sa Amerika.
Hindi lamang si Nora ang magbabalik sa bansa dahil inaasahan din ang pag-uwi ni John Rendez.
Tulad ni Nora, matagal nang naninirahan sa Amerika si John.
At ayon sa source ng impormasyon, mauunang bumalik si Nora sa Pilipinas at susunod sa kanya si John, makalipas ang tatlong araw.
Lumikha ng alingasngas ang balita na uuwi ng bansa si John dahil sa kanyang outstanding warrant of arrest na may kinalaman sa kaso ng "illegal possession of firearm and ammunition."
Nakasampa ang kaso sa Regional Trial Court of Angeles dahil sa insidente na kinasangkutan ni John sa Angeles City noong March 22, 1994.
Napatunayan na "guilty" si John, a.k.a. John Robert Porter, Jr..
Hinatulan siya ng korte na makulong ng apat na taon at dalawang buwan ng prison correccional medium hanggang anim na taon na prision correccional maximum at pagbabayad ng P15,000 dahil walang lisensiya ang baril (.38 caliber pistol) na kanyang dala.
Umapela si John sa Court of Appeals, pero na-dismiss ng Tenth Division ang kanyang apela na pawalang-sala siya.
Si Justice Mario Guarino III ang author at signatory ng six-page decision ng dismissal ng appeal ni John.
FLASHBACK. Narito ang nilalaman ng naturang desisyon:
"From late evening of March 22, 1994 until early next morning, twenty-three year old John Robert Porter Jr. was with six of his friends enjoying the night life of Angeles City after coming all the way from Quezon City.
"They stopped first at Red Caps which was the club of his mother and then went to the Sky Trax Disco. They stayed there for a brief period before leaving again. At about 1: 30 o’ clock in the morning they went back to Sky Trax.
"When he was about to enter the club with his friends, he was caught carrying an unlicensed firearm.
"SPO2 Mario Nulud testified that at about 1:30 o’clock in the morning of March 23, 1994, he was conducting routine patrol activity on foot with SPO1 Rodrigo Masiclat at Fields Avenue, Balibago, Angeles City.
"Within the vicinity of Sky Trax Disco, he chanced upon a group of young men getting out of a car across the road from the disco pub. He easily spotted the accused because of his mestizo features.
"The group walked towards the entrance of club, and from a distance of ten meters away, he saw the accused hold a gun in front of the security guard.
"As he approached the accused, he noticed him put the gun in his pocket. He took the gun from him and, introducing himself as a policeman, asked if he was from the military and had a license for the gun. He replied that he left his papers at the house.
"He heard him say above the din from the club that he was also surrendering something. Nulud brought him to the police station at Balibago where the usual documentation for the arrest was prepared, namely the crime report, his joint affidavit with SPO1 Masiclat, and the confiscation report.
"After processing the arrest, he turned the accused over to the Police Investigation Division near the City Hall for further disposition.
"Atienza, the security guard, was called to the witness stand paradoxically by the defense. He testified that he was at the entrance of the club when he espied the accused alight from a vehicle with his friends and took hold of a gun from a member of his group as they approached his post.
"The area around him was well-lighted allowing him to see the gun inside a holster in the right hand of the accused. When they were already in front of him, he held the hand of the accused and took the gun.
"Nervous, the group left except three who stayed with the accused. Atienza asked him if he had a license, but he did not answer. Not asking any more questions, he instructed a bouncer in the club to notify the barangay outpost nearby.
"Soon, a man in a vest whom he presumed was a barangay policeman arrived in a motorcycle. He turned over the accused and the gun to this person and, as far as he knew, the accused was delivered by the barangay authorities to the police station."
THE DECISION. "The accused’s own testimony focused on his unknowing possession of the gun. For reasons we will discuss, the allegation would subtly morph into a general defense that the possession was ephemeral and transient and without the attendance of an animus possidendi.
"The factual scenario shaped by the testimonies of his witnesses will not lend support to this claim.
"The accused testified that when he went out of the car, Red, one of his companions, handed to him a black handbag saying pari paki hawak sandali.
"He got hold of the bag not knowing what was inside. They proceeded casually to the club, but at the entrance, the security guard took the bag and, opening it, found a gun inside.
"He was immediately detained and turned over to the barangay tanods who asked him if he had a license.
"He could not say anything because the gun was not his and Red was no longer at the scene.
"They brought him to the police station where he met SPO2 Nulud for the weakness in the testimony of the accused is that it is not credible.
"His own witnesses have belied him on the very point which would have saved him from conviction— the lack of any intent on his part to possess an unlicensed firearm.
"While he said that he only received a bag with undisclosed contents and did not know what was inside until it was inspected by the guard, his own friend Jerome Romero disclosed that what was handed to him by Red was the gun itself placed in a holster. There was no bag.
"While it is true that the element of animus possidendi may be negated by facts pointing to the nature of the possession as only temporary, incidental, transient or ephemeral, the accused has failed to show that his possession is qualified by any of these circumstances. People vs Nuñez 353 SCRA 285.
"From the moment he received the gun from his friend and carried it with him, he betrayed his intent to possess an unlicensed firearm.
"We have no reason to disagree with the conclusion reached by the trial court that the accused violated the law in possessing an unlicensed firearm. His custody of the gun was anything but temporary or incidental.
"As in People vs Lian 255 SCRA 532, the allegation that he intended to surrender it to the authorities is incredible and unbelievable.
"If the security guard had been less zealous in his duties, looking the other way when the accused and his group entered, the accused could have brought a dangerous weapon in the club. The presence of the gun inside would have become a serious potential threat to public order and safety.
"We have no reason to disagree with the conclusion reached by the trial court that the accused violated the law in possessing an unlicensed firearm.
"This substantive finding may not come to naught with the possibility that the constitutional right of the accused to counsel has been violated by the failure of the police to afford him one during custodial interrogation.
"Since the evidence actually presented in court to convict the accused has not been the product of the custodial investigation of the accused, but gathered from independent testimonies, it may not considered affected by the vice of an uncounseled investigation.
"The exclusionary rule mentioned in the Bill of Rights is not applicable in this context.
"IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED, and the appeal DISMISSED. SO ORDERED."