>News Update HK court: Drug rap vs Rep. Singson won’t be for commercial trafficking

>Beleaguered Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson admitted Wednesday he is getting more nervous with a Hong Kong court set to hand down its decision on his drug trafficking case in less than 24 hours, even as the court ruled there is not enough evidence to prove that the Filipino lawmaker engaged in commercial trafficking.

The Wan Chai District Court is set to issue a decision Thursday on Singson’s prison term, after he pleaded guilty to the charge of drug trafficking while insisting that he did not intend to sell the drugs.

Singson was arrested in July last year at Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok after authorities seized 6.67 grams of cocaine from him.

A report by GMA News’ Ian Cruz on “Saksi” said Wednesday’s mitigation hearing on the lawmaker’s case was attended by his father, Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson, his mother Evelyn, his daughter Samantha, his five siblings and his girlfriend, actress Lovi Poe.

“Siyempre madamdamin, kinakabahan ang lahat. Pero patuloy pa rin akong nagdadasal na maging favorable ang decision,” Singson said in the newscast. (We are of course feeling nervous. But I continue to pray that the decision will be favorable to me.)

This page requires a higher version browser During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Joseph Yao ruled there is not enough evidence to prove that Singson intended to sell the illegal substance seized from him, and his case therefore could not be for commercial trafficking.

The court likewise said it is not inclined to believe that Singson intended to distribute the substance, as he was only with a male companion when he was arrested at the Hong Kong airport last year.

“It’s actually technical trafficking. That’s what we’re hoping the judgment [will be]. Ide-determine niya kung ‘yung nahanap sa akin ay para personal consumption [The court has to determine if the substance seized from me was only for my personal consumption],” Singson said.

Singson, a member of the Lower House, had earlier asked his colleagues to wait for the Hong Kong court’s decision before moving to strip him of his congressional seat. The House relented to his request, according to the report.

Section 4 of Hong Kong’s drug trafficking ordinance states that a person who admits to drug trafficking shall be fined $500,000 (more or less P22 million) and imprisonment for three years.

In January this year, Singson pleaded guilty to trafficking drugs into Hong Kong, after a cocaine binge in Manila and then a visit to a gambling hub Macau.

The 42-year-old legislator said he went on a cocaine-and-gambling binge after attending an Usher concert in Manila he helped stage on July 9, frustrated by an argument with his girlfriend Lovi Poe.

He then decided to join a friend who was going to attend a poker tournament in Macau, but he was arrested while transiting through Hong Kong. By Jerrie M. Abella/JV,

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