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Filipina fighting deportation gets 14 days in jail for drug possession

23 May 2023

Deportation proceedings are underway for the Filipina, court told

A Filipina recognizance paper holder who was found guilty May 8 in Eastern Court of possessing 0.69 gram of cannabis resin in her rented room in Causeway Bay was sentenced on Monday, May 22, to 14 days in jail.

As the defendant, M. Manrique, had been in remand for the same number of days since May 8, she had practically served out the sentence.

Magistrate Minnie Wat Lai-man said she could not be lenient in sentencing M. Manrique, 39, despite the small amount of dangerous drug found in her possession, because of her habitual use of drugs, as shown by a related previous conviction.


At the start of the hearing on Monday, the defense lawyer discussed the content of a Drug Addiction Treatment Centre report as a well as a psychiatrist report on the defendant.

The lawyer said the Chief of Correctionals who issued the DATC report recommended that Manrique undergo a 12-month drug treatment program as an alternative to a jail term.

But the lawyer told Magistrate Wat that a year-long treatment was not feasible, as the defendant is already being processed for deportation by the Immigration Department.

Magkano? Pindutin ito!

He preferred that the magistrate hand the defendant a lenient sentence so as not to interfere with the Immigration proceedings.

Manrique sobbed as the prospect of a prison term was mentioned, but calmed down after Magistrate Wat imposed 14 days.

Wat considered the DATC report’s finding that Manrique was not drug-dependent, but her use of illegal drugs had affected her life and the future of her children.


The magistrate also considered that the defendant was a mother who had to take care of her children, and that the amount of illegal drugs found in her possession was small. These, Wat said, called for a 14-day sentence.

The magistrate noted that Manrique had two previous cases involving drugs, one of which was related to the just resolved case.

Wat said her court records show Manrique was arrested on Jan 21, 2022 by police who searched her rented rooms in a flat at 10 Yiu Wa Street  in Causeway Bay and found a small plastic bag containing 0.69 gram of cannabis resin, an extract from cannabis that addicts prefer to use.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Two police officers also found instruments used for smoking the illegal drug and resealable plastic packets for packing it.

The discovery of the paraphernalia was among a set of charges brought by police against the defendant in the related case filed against her in April 2022.

In that case, Manrique was charged with ill-treatment or neglect of two children and possessing drug paraphernalia in the rented room in Causeway Bay, a part of Wanchai District.

In the current case, two officers gave evidence in court about the anti-illegal drugs operation they carried out on Jan. 21, 2022, during which they found the illegal drug in one of two rooms in a subdivided flat that Manrique was renting.

They said Manrique rented Rooms A and C, for $5,500 but occupied only Room A. It was in Room C where the officers found the illegal drug.                                              

In the previous hearing, the defense lawyer said Manrique was estranged from her husband and has six children, aged between 13 and 18 years old. Four of them live in the Philippines, while the two younger ones who were born in Hong Kong are staying with her here.



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