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Drug Busts Gone Sour and Agency Intramurals

December 28, 2008

What’s it really with that banner story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoting the spokesman of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency alleging that a PhP 50-M bribe was paid to obtain the dismissal of drug charges against one of the so-called Alabang Boys?

Were the suspects indeed nabbed in a legitimate buy-bust operation?

Did personalities with connections to Malacanan intercede for the suspects?

jj-dodi-montage

At least two of the youngsters,Richard Santos Brodett and Jorge Jordana Joseph have been identified as related to prominent personalities.

Brodett is second degree nephew of Philippine Information Agency boss Conrado Limcaoco, Jr. while joseph is the youngest son of legendary broadcaster Johnny ‘Midnight’.

I have just spoken to both Limcaoco and the elder Joseph.

They both flatly deny any attempt on their part to intervene in the legal process involving their kin, with Johnny Joseph expressing readiness to have his son voluntarily undergo drug use rehabilitation confinement at an appropriate facility.

What is puzzling to this writer is why the PDEA appears to be resorting to media hype here after the very office of Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuno thumbed down the case against the youth as packaged by PDEA.

By its own account PDEA is also admitting it has no evidence of the supposed bribery.

Are we missing something here?

Was there really bribery or was this a PDEA operation gone awry?

I have it from unimpeachable sources that when the boys were initially arrested one of the parents was being asked to cough up PhP 20-M to get one of the suspects released without charges!

Dangerous Drugs Board chief, former senator Tito Sotto has told friends that one problem he has with PDEA is that he as a civilian official does not really have operational control to ensure that PDEA operatives do not engage in questionable police tactics.

There is also the matter of the PDEA and the DOJ being at odds in the way drug busts are done with due regard to upholding the rights of suspects particularly if they are manifestly not hardened drug users with recorded involvement in other crimes.

Last I checked the Bill of Rights remains in force.

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