'Alabang Boys' keep silent, irk lawmakers

Posted at 02/19/09 11:49 AM

The Alabang Boys -- Jorge Joseph, Richard Brodett and Joseph Tecson -- have invoked their right to remain silent in the House of Representatives panel inquiry on their drug case.

Atty. Andresito Fornier, Joseph's lawyer, said he has instructed his client to remain silent pending a review on the Alabang Boys' case before the Department of Justice.

Atty. Felisberto Verano, lawyer of Brodett and Tecson, said that his clients are willing to cooperate in the inquiry "except to the incident that led to [their] arrest" by antinarcotics agents last September 2008.

He said the committee could also get copies of the Alabang Boys' testimony before an independent fact-finding body formed by Malacañang. "Perhaps the records of what was said in the independent hearing...may not be in consonance to what is said here," he said.

Verano's answer, however, irked Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez who said that the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, as a duly constituted body, is more important than the independent panel.

"If they would refuse to narrate their story for this committee, I would look at this as something that borders on contempt," Golez said.

Zamboanga Rep. Antonio Cerilles added: "It is up to the committee to determine whether the question would incriminate them or not."

The Alabang Boys are facing drug peddling charges after their arrest for possession of narcotics last September.

Resado keeps mum, faces perjury raps

State Prosecutor John Resado also invoked his right to remain silent in the House of Representatives panel inquiry on alleged bribery of state officials to release the Alabang Boys.

Resado, who penned the December 2 decision to release the three, said he will neither confirm nor deny authenticated copies of his statements of assets and liabilities in 2006-2007 presented before the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs. Resado is accused of receiving more than a million pesos in bribes to release the three scions, a charge that he has denied.

"Whatever I comment on this document will give way for me to answer additional questions," he told congressmen, adding that he is merely invoking his right against self-incrimination. He confirmed, however, that he filed a SALN in 2006-2007.

His statement prompted Golez to make a motion to submit copies of Resado's SALN and other pertinent documents to the Office of the Ombudsman for possible filing of perjury charges against the prosecutor.

Resado earlier said an P800,000 deposit to his bank account came from his earnings from a lending business in Tarlac, which was being managed by a relative in Tarlac. The state prosecutor later retracted his statement, saying that he has no control over the investments being made by his relative.