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Mark Anthony Fernandez freed as drug rap dismissed

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Actor Mark Anthony Fernandez is a free man.


This after the Regional Trial Court in San Fernando, Pampanga acquitted him of the charge of transporting and possession of illegal marijuana a year after he was arrested after a car chase from Angeles City to Sa Fernando.


Mark Anthony, 37, son of former actress Alma Moreno and the late action star Rudy “Daboy” Fernandez, was released from the provincial jail on December 22 in time to join his family’s Christmas celebration.


It was gathered that relatives fetched Mark Anthony from jail. The actor was said to be happy upon his release.


However, his case of resistance and disobedience to authorities was still pending in the court.


Mark Anthony was arrested by police operatives in October 2016 after about a kilo of marijuana brick and a smaller amount of dried marijuana were found in his car at a checkpoint along MacArthur Highway in San Fernano.


The actor had admitted being a marijuana user but only for medicinal purposes.


But he denied that the one kilo of marijuana found in his car wasn't his, adding somebody had put it in his car.


Mark Anthony had struggled with drug use in the past, and has undergone drug rehabilitation, explaining his absence in show business despite his good performance on television and movies.


Before his arrest, he was last seen in the award winning movie “Ma Rosa” by director Brillante Mendoza.


The actor had claimed that he was using marijuana for medicinal purposes to avoid the fate of his late father.


He had pleaded not guilty to the charge of transporting and possessing a kilogram of marijuana when arraigned on October 6 by Judge Eda Era of the Regional Trial Court Branch 60.


Earlier, Judge Era dismissed a second charge of possession of drug paraphernalia filed against the actor.


The police had accused the actor of carrying a grinder, supposedly an equipment for drug processing, when he was arrested on Oct. 3 after he drove past a checkpoint here.


The drug case was initially filed before Judge Era but the lady judge inhibited later from the case as her husband is a co-member of the actor in the Guardians Brotherhood.


The case was re-raffled and landed in the sala of RTC Branch 58 Judge Meredith Malig.


Fernandez' case of resistance and disobedience, on the other hand, was filed with the Municipal Trial Court Branch 1. The charges stemmed from the actor’s alleged attempt to escape when authorities discovered the marijuana during an inspection at a checkpoint.


Pursuing police officers shot the tires of the actor’s car and cornered him in nearby San Fernando City.


Mark Anthony was briefly detained at the Angeles City district jail and was later transferred to the provincial jail in San Fernando.


Mark Anthony was last seen in the award-winning movie “Ma Rosa” playing the role of a cop. The movie won for Jaclyn Jose the best actress award in the Venice film festial and was chosen as the Philippine entry to the Oscars awards foreign language film category.


 Mark Anthony was tested positive for marijuana but negative for shabu after his arrest. 


Actor Rap Fernandez, half-brother of Mark, said he has been praying for Mark along younger brother Renz and mother Alma Moreno.


Earlier, Rap posted photos of him and his older brother Mark AnthonyFernandez, along with their late dad Rudy Fernandez, on his FB account when they all look so young and innocent.


Alma Moreno and brother Rap provided lawyers for Mark. Alma herself went to visit him in jail at Angeles City and later at the provincial jail in San Fernando.


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