DOJ vs. PDEA
It seems discomforting to know that prosecutors of DOJ have to go on leave en masse on account of the rather faulty decision of Malacanang to have to place them on a preventive suspension. This unduly creates the public perception that the DOJ prosecutors involved in the now famous case of Alabang boys have in fact been bribed as alleged by PDEA in what remains a theory yet to be proved except that the burden of proof by PDEA has not been pressed hard enough in order to ferret out the truth in this consuming imbroglio.
Tri-media has been fairly balanced in the coverage of the news showing both sides of the equation. Now a case has been filed with the Commission on Human Rights against those PDEA agents by the counsel of the Alabang boys. At least this is a good enough reasonable effort to properly put in its proper legal context all the events that transpired in this so-called buy-bust operation in so far as possible human rights violations have been committed by PDEA.
On the other hand, PDEA, purposively it would appear, has to leave everything hanging in the air as Major Marcelino did not think it incumbent upon him to appear before the NBI so that investigation can begin. Where it ordinarily indicates, Major Marcelino wants tri-media to cover him when he speaks at every turn just like his boss, the PDEA chief when they should inhibit themselves from this vicious practice of simply wanting to earn more “pogi points”. And yet, they did not stop saying that they will state the facts of the case as they know them at the proper forum and at the proper time. In the meantime, what their acts indicate are preliminaries to the promise they will soon be found to have been carrying empty – full disclosure of solid rock evidence.
At the bottom of the scale, we probably might find reason to suspect that the true weight of the case is being mangled with. We have heard a retired general who is president of an association of former flag officers in the AFP manifesting all-out support for and in behalf of the PDEA chief as it was with Major Marcelino when his mistahs or contemporaries in the Philippine Marines were also interviewed. All of a sudden, PDEA chief made even more discomforting revelations that he did, in fact, recruit 18 Magdalo officers into this rank after they have been dismissed from the service by no less than the PGMA. And press releases, presumably from PDEA, kept on flowing in all media outfits vouching, in effect, that former Magdalo officers made good as anti-narcotics agents of PDEA.
Is PDEA sending “shark attacks effect” on our political beach? Is Malacanang afraid of the Magdalo officers? Is Malacanang afraid of that association of former chiefs of staff in the AFP or other flag officers? We can discern from all these news developments that what a certain General Echeveria in fact has done is lay down the imprimatur for what could possibly be a coup d etat on the wings if and when Malacanang will side with DOJ. But why this seeming military intervention in a purely civilian agency like PDEA simply because its head is a former AFP Chief of Staff? Sometimes, these peemayers have become an anachronism in our times and this mistah culture that they want to infuse in our mainstream bureaucracy is to my mind, very sickening.
It can be ordinarily said that PDEA is into an aggressive media blitz to earn more media mileage than any of the DOJ prosecutors can afford for themselves except for free. There will then be a lifestyle check on the DOJ prosecutors except no such similar thing for the PDEA agents involved in this case. But why this rather biased moves? In the unseen process, DOJ has been under heavy attack via the most powerful medium or TV that captures attention across intelligences. It is fast becoming a trial by publicity and PDEA is apparently winning the war in the media front.
But soon, the case will have to take its own course. We have the courts, the judges, the system itself to take care of the case once presented to them. And for this to come about, perhaps, it is high time that PDEA be advised to refrain from airing its side on the controversy in surface media alone. PDEA should let the proper agency of government to begin its work so that the entire legal process can start and finish at the earliest possible time to bring closure to this already dragging controversy.
Simple-mindedly however, most people know that something is really hidden from public view while on the other hand, the other segment in this brewing feud is being cast in bad light. The DOJ prosecutors are made to appear guilty of the so-called P50 million bribery simply because PDEA floated the whole idea around – in media, that is – presumably as a kind of gag to DOJ in the face of supposedly impending resolution of a dismissal of the case. Now, such media hype effectively applied the brakes to what should be the DOJ resolution that should have already been issued out. It became Catch 22.
The truth will come out however PDEA would attempt to placate the facts of the case. And since DOJ is under heavy strain, it is well advised that the prosecutors undertake to show in the clearest and cleanest way possible the defects if possibly the acts committed by PDEA agents that are violative of our existing laws. DOJ must be able to redeem itself from the tarnished image of its institution that a Santiago-Marcelino duo has caused. Surely, in the level of ordinary public perception, DOJ has lost its case. But as the facts will soon unfold, the justice system as we know it shall be able to delete the half truths, the lies, the allegations in our individual memory banks, pray tell.
From where I stand, there is no room for our legal processes to operate in any other way than those that are prescribed especially in the whole issue of whether or not the rules of procedure or so-called rules of engagement have been dutifully followed to the letter – by all its intent and spirit. Falling short of this, let it be placed to test whether indeed PDEA chief Santiago knows the law as he claims.