Dismissal of Alabang Boys case 'not the first' says PDEA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 29 2008 10:25 PM | Updated as of Dec 30 2008 06:48 AM

The case of the so called “Alabang Boys” was not the first to be dismissed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) under questionable circumstances according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

PDEA, which claimed that a P50-million-bribe was involved in the case’s dismissal, said there were also other high-profile cases junked by the DOJ despite strong evidence.

On October 30, 2007, PDEA operatives and Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force raided a drug laboratory in Pagsawitan, Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

Hundreds of millions worth of chemicals and equipment in making illegal drugs were confiscated.

Arrested inside the drug laboratory were Bruce Esteban Ong alias Cai Qing Hai and three other Chinese nationals.

Authorities highlighted the arrest of Cai Qing Hai, who was wanted in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand for his international drug connections.

However, the charges against the four Chinese nationals were dropped a few months after the arrest. 

“Nagtataka kami kung bakit [mayroong] ‘insufficiency of evidence’, dahil sa paniniwala ang ahensya na marami namang ebidensya na magdidiin sa kanila. Gusto sana namin sa korte patunayan,” said Jacquelyn de Guzman of the PDEA Legal and Prosecution Service.

In Nagulian, La Union last July 9, 2008, authorities were able to locate what is considered to be the biggest drug laboratory in the history of the country.

It is estimated that 300 billion pesos worth of drug chemicals and equipment were found and confiscated.

Authorities claimed that it was the biggest drug bust ever in the country. Six people were recommended charged in the case, including a police senior superintendent and three policemen.

But after a few months and with no public attention, the cases were dismissed against five of the six suspects.

“Nalulungkot kami, ibabasura ang mga kaso sa malalaking laboratoryo na ito,” said de Guzman.

With the previous dismissed drug cases and the recent dismissal of charges by prosecutors against the alleged Alabang Boys PDEA Director General Dionisio Santiago could not help but express his frustration.

“There should be clarity and equality lalo na sa justice. Hindi pup’wede ang justice natin may pinipili,” said Santiago.

However, DOJ Secretary Raul Gonzalez said there are many reasons why a case is dismissed by a prosecutor.

“The fiscal will dismiss a case if he finds no evidence. For example the matter of the arrest was irregular,” he said.

In a study by PDEA, 70-80 percent of heinous crimes like rape, incest and massacres involve the use of drugs. With a report by Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News