Alabang boys – big drug syndicate?
Are the so-called Alabang Boys – Brodett, Joseph, & Tecson – arrested by PDEA’s field agents on a reported legitimate buy-bust operation undertaken separately in posh Ayala Alabang and in Araneta Center aptly fall under the classification of a big drug syndicate who source their drugs from as far as America via e-commerce or online? This readily runs counter to certain sociological facts that these young individuals did excel in their respective schools academically which just don’t come together with drug use and its social implication.
If PDEA’s rather self-serving claim were to be believed, would the evidence of – 60 ecstasy tablets, 11 sachets of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, marijuana grinder and weighing scales (based on Manila Times reports) – have constituted or approximate a labeling of a big drug syndicate? And how much did the alleged poseur-buyer agent of PDEA have to pay for all these prohibited stuff to tell us how big time the drug operation is and how intricate the case build up was as claimed by PDEA’s chief of special enforcement services or Major Ferdinand Marcelino? Did we hear if the purchase by PDEA breaches the million-peso mark?
In Arnold Clavio’s interview with Major Ferdinand Marcelino in Unang Hirit this 6th of January 2009, it has become rather conveniently clear that there was not a P50-million bribe as could be claimed any more than a mere P3 million on a dubious telephone offer by one claiming to be close to the suspects if not affiliated with the DOJ by Marcelino’s own quite misleading account. This telephone conversation did occur allegedly while Marcelino was interrogating the detained suspects in front of their parents and families. But Marcelino failed to supply the facts or details being asked by Arnold Clavio than to merely validate what ought to have been hearsay or a prank call. For one, Marcelino doesn’t have to be too promising to reveal other ‘facts’ in court.
Further, when Arnold asked him whether the suspects were armed, Marcelino admitted that they were not except it was not determined at the time of the chase. The PDEA fired upon the suspects’ vehicle in an alleged 15-minute chase albeit nothing has been shown that there was any threat to the PDEA agents as would imperil their lives. At least, nothing except that again PDEA did claim in newspaper reports that the suspect was about to ram his car to the PDEA agents. And that may have scared the wits out of skilled PDEA agents?
In a supposedly intricate case build up, there ought to have been no doubt at all whether or not the suspects bear firearms along with the supposedly stuff of high value that should be protected – the prohibited drugs. But it seems that even the discovery of this stuff as claimed to have been found anywhere in the car in what is supposedly an illegal procedure is not one to indicate how legitimate the operation was. Nothing was clear whether or not in the buy-bust operation, there was real indubitable evidence that Mr. X pays Mr. Y a clear amount of money in exchange of a clear amount of goods. Chances are, haste makes waste here.
In the end, there ought to be some kind of fiction work somewhere. At the very least, it is clear that the chief of PDEA did resist having to implement the resolution of the DOJ secretary that dismissed the case for lack of sufficient evidence. Arnold Clavio may have asked the more commonsensical questions except that the PDEA’s chief of special enforcement services did not measure up to confront them with good enough answers expected of a person in authority who is supposed to have full knowledge of the just concluded activity or project.
PDEA’s version might soon fail to pass the litmus test. The PDEA’s claim that the group has international connections contradicts their own admission that this group operates in Metro Manila and only as far as Baguio. From where I stand, we have reason not to be convinced that indeed lawyer Jacqueline Verano may just be right in saying that the buy-bust operation is deemed illegally undertaken and more so without a legitimate warrant for such arrest and subsequent detention without charges having been filed. Moreover, Verano may just be right in claiming that the constitutional rights of the accused have been brazenly violated since they were not read the Miranda rights by the arresting PDEA agents.
The circumstances on that part where PDEA opened fire at the alleged suspects without them having been fired upon by the same should really be looked into in a subsequent reinvestigation to see the light of day on this rather incomprehensible version of PDEA. Santiago is even heard to have said that the suspects should have stopped when fired upon without telling us candidly whether there could have been guarantee that if it did happen, the PDEA would have also automatically ceased firing at them. His statement just does not make any sense at all.
In this so-called sensational drug case, we just do not know what version to believe. For one, that from PDEA cannot prescribe since there is no overwhelming evidence that they are the kind of individuals or suspects who we can normally tag as drug pushers or drug users for that matter. If event organizers with deceiving network of high-end socialites are to be tagged as conduit in international drug operations, then let us simply validate it with more than sufficient amount of evidence – pound for pound – that we may believe what PDEA is really doing. That part that says Marcelino has just booted out his own agents involved in bribery might tell us that there are yet PDEA field agents whom he must determine to have been bribed.
PRIMER C. PAGUNURAN
UP Diliman, Quezon City Email: email@example.com