PDEA chief: Alabang Boys are top-level drug traders

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 31 2008 02:55 PM | Updated as of Dec 31 2008 10:55 PM

The so-called "Alabang Boys," three rich kids nabbed for alleged possession of drugs, are top-level drug peddlers, the chief of the country’s anti-drug agency said Wednesday.

Ret. Gen. Dionisio Santiago, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief, told ABS-CBN News Channel that the "Alabang Boys" -- Richard Santos Brodett, Jorge Jordana Joseph and Joseph Ramirez Tecson -- were involved in a group that has an international network.

"This is a big group, and they use the Internet to get drugs from America," Santiago said, adding that the information came directly from the three boys during interrogation.

He said the group of the three boys supplies Ecstasy pills, a deadly rave drug, to Baguio City. He added that the three are on the second innermost layer of a big syndicate.

The PDEA chief said the Department of Justice's (DOJ) resolution dismissing the drug charges filed against the three may prevent the agency from discovering a bigger drug syndicate.

"This operation may lead to a bigger one. They have an international network.. They (Alabang Boys) are second in line. It's hard to penetrate the second line," Santiago said.

The three boys were arrested by PDEA agents in separate operations in Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa City and Cubao, Quezon City last September 20.

Seized from there were 60 Ecstasy tablets, 11 sachets of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, including a marijuana grinder and weighing scales.

Santiago also belied a claim by one of the suspects' lawyer that the case should not be treated as a big one because the three boys are only drug users.

"If this is small, I don't know what is big," Santiago said.

Admission

Early this month the DOJ issued a resolution dismissing PDEA's drug complaints against the three. The resolution said the complaints are being dismissed for insufficiency in evidence.

Santiago had criticized the DOJ's reason for dismissing the complaint. He said the evidence initially presented by PDEA against the three could not have been sufficient because one of the suspects had verbal admission of possessing illegal drugs.

Santiago said that during the arrest, Brodett was approached and asked by his father if the drugs seized by the operatives really belonged to him.

He said Brodett readily admitted to his father that the drugs were his. He added that the boy even pointed to the operatives were to find the drugs hidden in his car.

Brodett was arrested while allegedly selling drugs to an agent in Ayala Alabang. Arrested with his was Joseph. The third suspect was arrested in a follow-up operation in Cubao.

The PDEA has chosen to disregard the DOJ resolution signed by Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño.

Santiago said the resolution failed to abide by its own memorandum circular that requires the DOJ secretary to review high profile cases that have been recommended for dismissal.

The PDEA chief said the suspects' lawyers have threatened the agency of being charged with arbitrary detention for its refusal to release the three.

‘Don’t call them Alabang Boys’

The top Muntinlupa City official, meanwhile, appealed to the media and the PDEA to stop calling the three suspects “Alabang Boys.”

The city government explained that the three suspects form a small portion of a huge Ayala Alabang population “and to refer them as ‘Alabang Boys’ paints a negative picture of the community.”

City Mayor Aldrin San Pedro said dragging the name Alabang in the sensational drug case is “derogatory” for the city’s booming financial district.