PDEA buy-bust operation a farce, says DOJ

Posted at 01/06/2009 3:20 PM | Updated as of 07/09/2009 5:16 PM

State prosecutors on Tuesday said anti-narcotics did not conduct a legitimate buy-bust operation against the so-called Alabang Boys whom they arrested in September 2008.

State prosecutors who dismissed the drug case involving Jorge Joseph, Richard Brodett and Joseph Tecson presented their report before the House of Representatives, which is investigating the alleged bribery try on justice and drug enforcement officials.

Senior State Prosecutor Philip Kimpo said there were so many defects in the procedure of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

PDEA Director Dionisio Santiago, however, denied Kimpo's allegation and said the operation was legitimate.

"Our poseur buyer was alone but we had a group on standby that will close in on the quarry upon getting a signal. It was not a single man team. How could we make an arrest when he was talking to two people? He would be overpowered. There was an arresting team with the pusher-buyer," he told congressmen during Tuesday's hearing.

Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez, meanwhile, said the prosecutor's statements that the PDEA operation was a farce is a very serious allegation and implies that the PDEA fabricated its story.

The House is investigating allegations that the families of the "Alabang Boys" bribed prosecutors to dismiss drug charges against them.

The Department of Justice dismissed the case last month, saying there was not enough basis to charge the three who were arrested for carrying Ecstasy and sachets of cocaine and marijuana.

PDEA legal chief Alvaro Lazaro, meanwhile, expressed shock over the resolution released by State Prosecutor dismissing the Alabang Boys' case.

Lazaro refuted Resado's assessment that the buy-bust operation was a farce and the arrest of the drug suspects was illegal.

He also pointed out that Resado assured him that they had a solid case against the Alabang Boys.

DDB conducts own probe

The Dangerous Drugs Board said it is conducting its own investigation of the bribery scandal hounding the Alabang Boys drug case.

DDB chairman Tito Sotto said President Arroyo ordered him to look into the PDEA's allegation that they were offered P50 million to dismiss the case against Brodett, Joseph and Tecson.

"We have to look into the possibility whether the bribery is true or not and who are the people behind it, who should be charged with bribery and things like that. That's about it," he said.

The families of the suspects have accused the PDEA of merely inventing the bribery claim and are filing charges of arbitrary detention and libel against PDEA chief Santiago.

Sotto said lack of coordination between PDEA and the justice department is to blame for the Alabang Boys bribery controversy. He said there is a need to revise the structures of government agencies handling drug cases to improve their coordination.