Arroyo orders charges vs Alabang Boys, DOJ prosecutors

Posted at 03/20/09 5:51 PM

President Arroyo has ordered the filing of administrative charges against top government prosecutors involved in the dismissal of the drug charges filed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) against three scions of rich families tagged as the Alabang Boys, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde announced Friday.

Remonde also announced at a press briefing that Mrs. Arroyo, who had appointed herself as the country's anti-drug czar, had reversed an earlier DOJ resolution absolving Richard Brodette, Jorge Joseph and Joseph Tecson from the drug charges.

He said Mrs. Arroyo found "probable cause" for the three rich kids' possible violation of Section 5 of Republic Act 9165's (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).

"Secretary of justice [has been] ordered to file criminal information against respondents," Remonde announced.

The presidential spokesman said Mrs. Arroyo ordered the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission to file administrative charges against State Prosecutor John Resado for alleged bribery. Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño and State Prosecutor Philip Quimpo are also facing administrative charges for negligence.

Resado penned the resolution that recommended the dismissal of the case against the Alabang Boys. The resolution was signed and approved by Quimpo and Zuño.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Arroyo has also ordered further investigation against DOJ Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor for possible violation of Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Major Ferdinand Marcelino, the PDEA team leader who arrested the Alabang Boys, and other anti-narcotics agents involved in the Alabang drug bust were also recommended for investigation by Mrs. Arroyo.

Remonde said Mrs. Arroyo's orders and recommendation were based on the findings of a three-man probe team formed by Malacañang to look into several allegations in the Alabang Boys' case, including alleged bribery of state prosecutors.

The Alabang Boys were arrested by Marcelino's team September 2008 for possession of marijuana and ecstasy, but charges against them were dropped in December.

The dismissal order prompted congressional investigations after the PDEA accused prosecutors of taking millions in bribes in exchange for the release of the drug suspects.