MANILA — There's "nothing strange" to the swift resolution of the drug case of the son of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla, a former justice official said Monday.
According to ex-Justice Undersecretary JJ Justiniano, criminal cases in trial courts should be resolved much faster due to the continuous trial rule.
"There's nothing strange about that. There's that continuous trial rule. Maraming kaso ang nagkaroon ng shortcut," he told ANC's "Rundown".
The continuous trial rule was implemented in 2017.
Under the revised guidelines for continuous trial on criminal cases, the schedule of the trial dates, for both the prosecution and the accused, shall be continuous and within the periods provided in the regular rules or special rules.
The prosecution shall present only pieces of evidence that are essential in establishing that the evidence of guilt is strong.
However, Justiniano noted, "There is really a rule on the continuing trial but the only problem is that they’re always often violated than applied."
The acquittal and swift resolution of the drug case of Juanito Jose Remulla III sparked condemnation online, with the public saying the country's justice only favors those who have money or power.
In a Twitter post, former Supreme Court Spokesperson Theodore Te also wrote that a full-blown criminal trial with presentation of witnesses isn't usually completed in just 3 months.
"The brevity of the proceedings in this one case is a standard to aspire for but the question needs to be asked: was the name of the accused a factor?" he continued.
The younger Remulla walked free last week after a Las Piñas City court acquitted him of illegal drug possession.
He was arrested on October 11 last year after receiving a package containing 900 grams of kush or high-grade marijuana worth P1.3 million.
In acquitting the younger Remulla, the court said there was "no clear evidence that [the] accused had freely, consciously, and with full knowledge possessed the alleged seized illegal drugs."
The violation of chain of custody requirements was also raised as second ground for acquitting the accused.