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Based on prosecution through the testimony of SPO1 Rodolfo S.

Gonzales, in the afternoon of July 23, 1998, a


confidential informant (CI) of the Special Operations Division (SOD), PNP Narcotics Group, reported to Chief
Inspector Albert Ignatius D. Ferro about the alleged illicit drug activities of accused William Ong and Ching De Ming
@ Robert Tiu. As per order of Chief Inspector Ferro, a team of eight decided to conduct a buy-bust operation.
Once, CI confirmed the meeting time and venue with the drug dealer, and exchanges of gift-wrapped packages
rendered of one (1) sealed plastic bag with a white crystalline substance by the accused Ong and boodle money
placed in a W. Brown plastic bag by SPO1 Gonzales, thereafter, the latter arrested Ong while the CI and the
back-up agents arrested co-accused De Ming.

The two (2) accused were brought to the police office where the corresponding booking sheets and arrest report
were prepared. The plastic bag containing the illegal drug substance, was referred to the Philippine National
Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory for examination, positive for methyl amphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, a
regulated drug.

However, the appellants denied the story of the prosecution. Accused William Ong, a Chinese citizen from the
Peoples Republic of China (PRC), claimed that he came to the Philippines in 1997 to look for a job. Initially, he
worked in a pancit factory in Quezon City, but later hunted for another job, was referred by his friend Kian Ling to
Ong Sin for a possible job as a technician in a bihon factory owned by Sin. Subsequently, without any knowledge of
his new job, William Ong was later taken to the police station and there he met the other accused Ching De Ming
for the first time. He maintained innocence to the crime charged.

On his part, accused Ching De Ming testified that he is a legitimate businessman engaged in the RTW business. On
that same date of the commission of the crime, while waiting for his girlfriend and her mother, whose mother
Avenlina Cardoz, testified in De Mings favor and corroborated with his story, that he was approached by persons
unknown to him. He was misidentified as one of the accused and dragged him out of his car and brought to the
other car, took his clutch bag, then after a few hours, at Camp Crame, they removed his blindfold. He denied
knowing Ong and the charge of conspiring with him to deliver shabu in New Manila, Quezon City.

On November 18, 1998 the trial court convicted appellants as charged and imposed on them the penalty of death.
It likewise ordered each of them to pay a fine of P1 million pesos. However, the case was on automatic review.
Appellants insist on their innocence. They claim that their guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused has the right to meet the informer face to face?

Held:

The prosecution evidence about the buy-bust operation is incomplete. The confidential information who had sole
knowledge of how the alleged illegal sale of shabu started and how it was perfected was not presented as a
witness. His testimony was given instead by SPO1 Gonzales who had no personal knowledge of the same and not
part of the buy-bust operation.

Although, the court is sharply aware of the compelling considerations why confidential informants are usually not
presented by the prosecution. Likewise, once the identity of the informer has been disclosed to those who would
have cause to resent the communication, the privilege is no longer applicable.

In sum, there is no fixed rule with respect to disclosure of the identity of an informer. The problem has to be
resolved on a case to case basis and calls for balancing the state interest in protecting the people from crimes
against the individuals right to prepare his defense. The balance must be adjusted by giving due weight to the
following factors, among others: (1) the crime charged, (2) the possible defenses, (3) the possible significance of
the informers testimony, and (4) other relevant factors.