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The ‘Alabang Boys’, Three Lawyers, And A Marine

January 7, 2009

A young Marine from a humble family in Hagonoy, Bulacan has emerged as the solitary inspiring facet in this sordid drama over the arrest last September of the scions of three prominent families in an alleged entrapment operation.

That incident yielded ‘commercial quantity’ prohibited drugs after a 15-minute chase inside gated Alabang Village in South Metro Manila.

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Major Ferdinand Marcelino, special operations chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), stood 10-feet-tall as he told a congressional probe about how he was offered ‘tatlong manok’ (3 chickens), code for PhP 3-M to maneuver the dropping of the capital offense charges against the suspect.

Marcelino did not yield to the bribery offer even as it supposedly ballooned to PhP 20-M.

To his disappointment and surprise, along with that of PDEA legal chief Al Lazaro, the case previously described as “air tight” was dismissed “for lack of probable cause” State Prosecutor John Resado.

The issue blew up further after the Philippine Star broke the story that PhP 50-M allegedly changed hands at the level of the Department of Justice.

Complicating things even further now is the admission from the counsel of the Brodett family, Felixberto Verano, that he drafted on DOJ statinery “out of personal zeal” for his client a draft order for the 3 suspects to be given a Christmas furlough.

To his credit, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales did not sign the document since the dismissal of the PDEA complaint is undergoing automatic review.

Methinks the seasoned Atty. Felixberto Verano has succeeded only to complicate things for himself, and his client.

On the PDEA’s side, the claimed bribery attempts, though possibly true, cannot be proven because of PDEA’s failure to carry out entrapment operations against the ‘bribers,’

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What has been exposed in stark fashion is the likely magnitude of drug trafficking in Metro Manila.

The criminal tentacles of international syndicates appear able to utilize even well-heeled but ‘lost’ youths as distribution conduits while the front agencies of government: PDEA and the DOJ are under attack from within and without.

How many more Marines in  the mold of Ferdinand Marcelino are out there?

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