PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE father of one of the so-called Alabang Boys yesterday agreed to open his bank accounts to the independent panel that is investigating the drug case involving scions of rich families.
Butch Brodett, father of suspect Richard, agreed to open his bank accounts during an executive session yesterday. He confirmed that he has accounts in three banks – Bank of Commerce, Export Bank and Banco de Oro.
Meanwhile, Justice Undersecretary Fidel Exconde also appeared before the panel and denied allegations that he tipped Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Dionisio Santiago about the dismissal of the case against the Alabang Boys.
“I was shocked when I read that news article. I have never called the PDEA unless the issue falls under our jurisdiction. These accusations are untrue and unfounded,” Exconde said.
Exconde said he believes that there is a “deliberate effort to put his name into the issue.” ”For six weeks my name was never mentioned, not during the hearing at the House or in any media accounts except recently,” he told the panel.
As this developed, an employee of the DoJ said State Prosecutor John Resado instructed her to forward the draft order of the resolution for the release of Richard, Jorge Jordana Joseph and Joseph Ramirez Tecson to Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez.
Janet Payoyo, executive assistant of Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor, said Resado told her that the draft is ready for Gonzalez’ signature.
The panel however noted inconsistencies in the testimonies of prosecutors who handled the case.
In their opinion, the committee said the prosecutors should have made clarificatory questions first before coming up with a resolution dismissing the case against the suspects.
In a press statement, PDEA chair Dionisio R. Santiago said that after hearing the testimonies of State Prosecutor John Resado, Senior State Prosecutor Philip Kimpo and Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuno, former Justice Raul Victorino emphasized that it is the responsibility of the prosecutors to conduct a thorough investigation to be able to render a resolution beyond reproach.
“This just goes to show that either our state prosecutors are not competent enough or they were paid to do what they did. Bahala na kayo kung alin sa dalawa ang mas tamang sagot,” Santiago said.
Because of the controversy, Malacañang yesterday came out with an order that all drug cases dismissed by the Secretary of Justice will be reviewed by the President.
President Macapagal-Arroyo issued Administrative Order No. 253 on the automatic review which also states that the execution of the decision or resolution should be put on hold pending the review.
However, the automatic review of the case shall not preclude the concerned parties from appealing their cases to the OP.
Deputy Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez promptly clarified that the order does not mean the President’s loss of confidence in the DoJ amid allegations of bribery involving prominent drug suspects.
“This means pinalalakas pa natin lalo ang pag prosecute ng mga kaso laban sa illegal drugs,” Golez said.