PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — STATE Prosecutor John Resado yesterday turned the tables on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, saying PDEA lawyer Alvaro Lozano tried to bribe him to drop the case against drug suspects Richard Brodett, Joseph Tecson and Jorge Joseph.
Testifying before the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, Resado said it was Lazaro who called him in September 2008 asking him to immediately dismiss the case for lack of evidence.
The prosecutor said Lazaro told him that he has no choice but to dismiss the case since everything, including the evidence, had been “fixed.” While no amount was mentioned by Lazaro, Resado said he was certain that the lawyer was offering him a bribe in exchange for the dismissal of the case.
“Matagal pa bago siya nagparinig. Pero ang sabi niya baguhan ka lang dito, alam ko na ang kalakaran. Sabi pa niya no choice ka na kasi sinira na ang evidence at mali mali na ang report,” Resado narrated.
“Ang architect ng lahat ng ito ay si Atty. Lazaro,” he added.
Resado said he did not report the calls to Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez or to his immediate superior, Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño.
Lazaro vehemently denied Resado’s charges, saying that he called up the prosecutor not to offer anything but to follow-up on the case.
He challenged Resado to file charges against him if he can show evidence of bribery.
Representatives Roilo Golez, Marcy Teodoro and Darlene Antonino-Custodio questioned Resado’s late disclosure.
“The revelation is too late,” Golez said.
Teodoro on the other hand said that he sees no logic for Lazaro to bribe Resado especially if the recommendation is to dismiss the case.
Officials of the PDEA earlier claimed that some officials of the Department of Justice received up to P50 million in bribes in exchange for the dismissal of the case against the three young men accused of drug peddling.
At the same time, Resado clarified that the money deposited in his bank account was obtained from legitimate investments and not from bribes.
He said only P800,000 was deposited in his account, not P1.6 million as claimed by a certain Juan dela Cruz, who sent a letter to the DoJ.
The House panel required Resado to submit a copy of his bank book to show the transaction.
Although Resado agreed to submit a copy, he disagreed with the solons’ plan to invite bank officials to confirm or verify his account.
“I will not waive my rights to secrecy. Ayokong pagpiyestahan ng publiko ang aking bank account. This is a valid account, this is updated,” he said.
Reports said two P800,000 checks were deposited in Resado’s account on the day that he recommended the dismissal of the case against the Alabang Boys.
However, Resado told the panel that he and his wife Rowena obtained their money from their lending business in Tarlac and from other investments.
He clarified that the P800,000 which he deposited on December 2, 2008, was part of the accumulated income of P1.2 from the lending business which they started in 2000.
“Ang perang ito ay idineposito ko at malinis ang pinanggalingan nito,” he stressed.
But the lawmakers questioned Resado for not including the income from his business in his statement of assets and liabilities.