Dismissal of drug case dismays PDEA

The legal division of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) yesterday asked a judge to reconsider his decision dismissing the cases filed against three suspected drug pushers named Alberto, Fernando, and Allan Carlos—all surnamed Tiñga—believed to be related to Taguig City Mayor Freddie Tiñga.

The case was dismissed by Raul Bautista Villanueva of the Taguig Regional Trial Court Branch 267 last month because of lack of evidence presented against the accused in court.

This was after their lawyers filed a demurrer to evidence (a petition questioning the sufficiency of the evidence against them) and the prosecution failed to file an opposition to the motion but another lawyer who was part of the PDEA team that filed the motion for reconsideration said they did not receive any notice from the court about the hearing on the demurrer to evidence filed by the accused.


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Alabang Boys’ nemesis goes on vacation

MANILA, Philippines—Citing the need for “delicadeza” (propriety), Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said on Monday he was taking a leave of absence to allow for an unhampered administrative investigation of himself as ordered by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Marcelino was the lead operative in the “Alabang Boys” drugs case, so-called because the three men arrested—Richard Brodett, Jorge Joseph and Joseph Tecson—are scions of wealthy families, two of which live in the exclusive Ayala-Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City. [Read Full Story]

PDEA on alert vs seedless marijuana

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is on the lookout for a new and more potent variety of marijuana, which authorities think may have found its way into the country.

The agency is yet to confirm whether or not sensemilia, the seedless variety, is already in the market although they have been receiving reports about it.

PDEA Drug Museum curator Gerry Magpoc said the new variety is more dangerous because it is “seven times more potent” than the so-called “buntot pusa” variety.

He explained that sensemilia carries a higher tetrahydrocannabinol content, one of the active ingredients of marijuana leaves that come from the cannabis sativa plant.

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What P2.6M bank deposit? asks DOJ undersecretary

JUSTICE Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor yesterday denied allegations he received a P2.6-million to push for the release of the so-called Alabang boys from detention.

Reports coming from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency earlier said there was a second bribery at the Department of Justice, apart from the P800,000 allegedly deposited in the bank account of state prosecutor John Resado, investigating fiscal who dismissed the drug charges against Richard Brodett, Joseph Tecson and Jorge Joseph on Dec. 2, 2008.

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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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Arroyo wants ‘fiercer’ war vs drug lords

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to wage a “fiercer war” against drug lords in cooperation with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and local government units.

Speaking at the 18th PNP anniversary in Camp Crame Monday, the President also ordered police to intensify its intelligence gathering to build up tight cases against drug suspects that would lead to their conviction.

“I enjoin you, cooperate with PDEA, the LGUs and other agencies as we crack down on big drug lords. Let us wage a fiercer war against them,” said Arroyo, who has appointed herself as the country’s anti-drug “czar.”

“Let’s make sure by building up a good case that they will go all the way to conviction,” she said.

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Palparan next PDEA chief?

Retired general Jovito Palparan announced that he is considering going back to government service at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Palparan, known for his unorthodox style of fighting communist insurgents, said he was offered the job at the PDEA while he was still in active service.

He said he is now “seriously considering” the offer.

Palparan said he could apply some of the strategies he used against the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in the government’s war on illegal drugs.

“There are some operations of the PDEA that are similar to the anti-insurgency drive, and if I accept the offer, I think I could put that to good use, considering that what we are trying to save here are the lives of innocent people. It is the people that we are fighting for,” he said.

There were reports that Palparan, named as the “butcher” by leftist groups in linking him to the spate of summary executions of militant and peasant leaders in areas where he was military commander, would take a post at PDEA.

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NBI probe of bribery a ‘farce’

And a farce was exactly how the Marine who said “No” to many bribe attempts on him as an enforcer of the law on Tuesday described the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) exonerating a Justice undersecretary and four state prosecutors of bribery allegations.

The Marine officer, Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), had accused officials and prosecutors of the Department of Justice (DOJ) of having been bribed with P50 million by the camp of the “Alabang Boys”—three young men from well-off families suspected of drug-trafficking—in exchange for the release of the three suspects.

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NO BRIBERY, NBI clears DoJ of bribe raps

The National Bureau of Investigation yesterday cleared officials of the Department of Justice from the alleged P50-million bribery attempt involving scions of wealthy families otherwise known as the “Alabang Boys.”
    
A 33-page report signed by Dulce Ricafort said there was no sufficient evidence to support the claim of bribery by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency against prosecutors who were asked by President Macapagal-Arroyo to go on indefinite leave pending result of the probe.
   
“Hearsay assertion of bribery cannot overturn the presumption of regularity on the part of the DoJ prosecutors,” the report said.

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Cops bring antidrug drive to Metro bars

In line with efforts to address the problem of illegal drugs, Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa Wednesday said he has ordered his men to conduct random drug tests on clients of bars and similar establishments in Metro Manila.

“As part of the antidrug campaign, we want to deploy [antidrug] agents to business establishments, especially high-end bars, and invite those who [seem to be] under the influence of illegal drugs to be immediately subjected to a drug test,” he told reporters.

Verzosa was in Quezon City to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for a new police and fire station that will be built on E. Rodriguez Avenue, Barangay Bagumbayan in Quezon City.

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