Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The case of the Alabang Boys (who really aren't boys anymore)

I've been telling my brother to switch channels - listening in to the Congressional Hearing is really frustrating me. It's like watching a telenovela, so much drama!

I don't mean to have my non-Filipino readers at a loss as to what this Alabang Boys case is all about, but I don't want to narrate the entire story here. You can checkout some of the links from this search result:

Department of Justice officials, specifically the fiscals/state prosecutors, are taking heat for releasing a Resolution just before Christmas, which was in effect dismissing the case. As it appears in the hearing, the tone and language of the resolution was as if it was taking as fact, and siding with, the position of their respondents. In fact, the resolution looks like a case agains the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. Err?

There a number of irregularities with this case, and I am in no mind to list them all. But had I been sitting in that hearing, here are some questions I would have asked:
  • Since Atty. Verano (representing the respondents) claims that he had no prior discussion with Usec. Blancaflor regarding the case, why did he have the Order sent through his office? He had his office messenger bring the document to Blancaflor's office, why not just messenger it straight to the office of the Department Secretary?
  • Claiming that he did not want anything to do with the document, why did Blancaflor allow his secretary to take the document to the office of the Secretary of Justice? Would it not be construed that he is endorsing the document? Shouldn't he have just outrightly refused to do anything in behalf of his fraternity brother?
  • Why did the office of the chief state prosecutor release the resolution to the public, without clearing it with the DOJ secretary, given that they have a memo circular mandating a review of all cases of this nature that are for dismissal?
  • In Fiscal Rasado's case, why didn't he inhibit himself from reviewing the case, when he already knew that the defense lawyer was his law school professor? He is in charge of looking into the merits of the case and recommend it for filing, or for dismissal. At that stage in the case, he was like a judge who must assume impartiality. Although if I was in his place, I wouldn't personally be affected if my college professors were part of a case where I need to make an important discernment, I would think it would still be the better thing to do, in the interest of fairness to both parties, to request that the case be assigned to a different fiscal. KWIM?
  • Shouldn't be the DOJ be working in partnership with the PDEA? Shouldn't they be actually helping PDEA build solid, air-tight cases about drug pushers/traffickers? They should be represented in the PDEA team! It appears that they have no measures for coordination here. PDEA does its job, and then DOJ may or may not let the case reach the courts? How does that help the campaign against drugs?


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