Timeline: The Story of the 'Alabang Boys,' PDEA and DOJ

Research by Lei Chavez, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Jan 07 2009 02:30 PM | Updated as of Jan 07 2009 10:30 PM

2008
 
September 20 – Richard Santos Brodett, Jorge Jordana Joseph, and Joseph Ramirez Tecson get arrested for drug trafficking through buy-bust operations in Quezon City and Ayala Alabang Village by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
 
September 21
– Dubbed as the "Alabang Boys", the three suspects submit themselves to the Justice department for the preliminary investigation of the case.
 
December 2 – The Department of Justice national prosecution service files a resolution dismissing the case due to "lack of probable cause."
 
December 19 – Antinarcotics agents receive "intelligence reports" that "P50 million changed hands" for the release of the three suspects.
 
PDEA Director General Dionisio Santiago says that the family members of the three suspects have attempted to bribe the prosecutor P50 million to dismiss the case. Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño denies that he and the other prosecutors who investigated the case were given bribes.
 
Marcelino divulges that he and his men were offered bribes thrice from Joe Tecson, a relative of one of the 'Alabang Boys.' The first is P3 million and later on increased to P20 million.
 
December 23 – Janet Payoyo, staff of Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor, receives a second draft order for the release of the suspects. The order came from Brodett and Tecson's lawyer, Felisberto Verano Jr, and is written in the DOJ letterhead. (Verano admitted writing the release order January 7 during a Congressional hearing.)
 
Blancaflor allegedly calls Chief Inspector Ferdinand Marcelino, head of the PDEA special enforcement service, to ask why the three suspects were not yet released by PDEA. Marcelino responds by saying that the case was still under review because of the alleged bribery attempt.
 
December 29 – Gonzalez reveals that someone within his department tried to "sneak in" for his signature a draft order that dismisses the drug case against the Alabang Boys. The Justice secretary denies signing it and orders an investigation. He nullifies the release order for the suspects.
 
The Senate agrees to investigate the alleged bribery attempt and Senator Gregorio Honasan will lead the Senate probe.
 
December 30 – Johnny Joseph, father of Jorge Joseph denies offering bribes for the release of his son from PDEA custody. But he admits offering Marcelino something else: campaign program against illegal drugs. The radio personality also states that his son is not a drug addict but only a "social drug user" and justifies that it is normal for the young to experiment. The parents of Richard Brodett likewise deny giving bribes for the dismissal of their son.
 
December 31 – President Gloria Arroyo directs the Dangerous Drug Board, headed by Tito Sotto, to investigate the alleged P50 million bribe attempts and instructs Justice secretary Raul Gonzalez to keep the suspects in custody. The President also asks Sotto to closely monitor the re-investigation proceedings of the two cases that were previously dismissed by the DOJ.
 
 2009
 
January 3 – Santiago links the 'Alabang Boys' to the Valle Verde group, which allegedly supplies illegal drugs in Manila and Baguio City and to a larger international syndicate that sells illegal drugs through the Internet.
 
January 4 – Marcelino says Blancaflor tried to intervene with the release of the suspects when the latter called him a few days before Christmas.
 
Gonzalez instructs the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate Blancaflor and his connections with the alleged P50-million bribe to release the 'Alabang Boys' from detention.
 
January 5
– Gonzalez says Blancaflor has displayed unusual interest in the drug case and states that Blancaflor's call to a PDEA officer was "irregular."
 
Blancaflor stresses that he did not intercede when he called Marcelino to inquire on the status of the case and says he likewise makes calls on cases involving media killings, human trafficking, and terrorism. He is willing to undergo a lie detector test and investigation.
 
Zuño supports the resolution to dismiss the drug case against the suspects because the arrest conducted by PDEA was illegal. He also adds that the bust-buy money was only P600 and was mixed with fake money to make the transaction exceed P100,000.
 
Santiago says there is nothing wrong with the call because he also occasionally consults the justice undersecretary. Marcelino, according to Santiago, must have inferred that Blancaflor was exerting pressure because Marcelino is "younger and relatively new to the position."
 
January 6
– The families of the 'Alabang Boys' file a 10-page petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Court of Appeals. PDEA officials argue that they cannot release the suspects.
 
In the investigation beong conducted by the House of Representatives, Blancaflor admits that he was contacted by the emissary of Brodett to ask about the "status" of the case after it was dismissed by the prosecutor's office.
 
January 7 – Marcelino tells the investigating panel that he is sure some of the corrupt members of the DOJ have accepted the P50-million bribe. He also narrates that one of his classmates called him to ask him to drop the case.
 
Gonzalez comments that he will not reverse the dismissal of the case if he found it "correct and justifiable." He announces that he will conduct an automatic review of the case within ten days.
 
Anthony Brodett confirms that his cousin, Richard Brodett, was pushing drugs since 2003 with the consent of Richard's mother, a former drug dependent.
 
Sources: Various news reports that came out  during the height of the issue