Drugged (or, PDA for PDEA)

Who needs martial law, when you have the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 — and Jovito Palparan on the Dangerous Drugs Board?

As any private lawyer worth his salt will tell you, the circumstances behind the dismissal by the Department of Justice of the case against the so-called Alabang Boys are most curious. There may really be something to the allegations, aired by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) at both congressional hearings and news conferences, that state prosecutors dismissed the case for several million reasons (only a fig-leafy few of them legal).

But what has happened since the news first broke, last month, is that the sordid story became a morality tale. The opposition’s often hostile treatment of witnesses from the Department of Justice (DoJ) is easy to understand; they are stand-ins for, effigies of, the controversial justice secretary. But even administration congressmen on the House committee on dangerous drugs have self-evidently chosen to side with the PDEA — reducing the state prosecutors to splutter in defense of their strained English grammar, their selective legal reasoning, even (in the case of state prosecutor John Resado) their unusual personal circumstances.

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