WHAT WENT BEFORE: Alabang Boys
On Sept. 19, 2008, the so-called “Alabang Boys”—Joseph Tecson, Richard Brodett and Jorge Joseph—were nabbed for alleged drug possession and sale during buy-bust operations by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Undercover agents led by Major Ferdinand Marcelino arrested Brodett and Joseph in Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City while Joseph Tecson was nabbed in a follow-up operation at Araneta Center in Quezon City.
Some 60 Ecstasy tablets, packets of marijuana and sachets of cocaine were found on them.
Tecson is related to a construction magnate, Brodett is a nephew of movie actor Dave Brodett and of then Philippine Information Agency director general Conrado Limcaoco, while Joseph is the youngest son of radio announcer John Joseph Burgos, known as “Johnny Midnight.”
On December 2, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed the case purportedly for lack of probable cause.
On December 26, PDEA said it had received information that “P50 million changed hands” for the release of the Alabang Boys, who remained in police custody.
Three days later, Marcelino alleged three other bribery attempts.
He said the first was made on the day of the arrest, with P3 million directly offered to him by an emissary related to Tecson; the second was relayed through his “mistah” (classmate) at the Philippine Military Academy; and the third was made by someone who claimed to be working for Tecson’s release.
Marcelino said that on December 19, then Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor phoned him and asked why Tecson et al. had not yet been released.
According to Blancaflor, Brodett’s uncle, Philip Brodett, called his office and asked why the three suspects were still detained. Blancaflor said his phone call to PDEA was a matter of “public assistance” and he had no personal interest in the case.
On Jan. 5 2009, defense counsel Felisberto Verano Jr. said an agent guarding his clients suggested they treat their captors to a “3M pizza.” Verano said “3M pizza” could have meant “P3 million” in exchange for dropping the charges.
On January 7, Brodett’s uncle Dave Brodett and his son Anthony testified before the House committee on dangerous drugs that Richard Brodett was a pusher and that the latter’s mother, Myra, used drugs.
Myra Brodett denied the allegation and said that she and her husband and the other Brodett couple had been feuding over money for 10 years.
Days later, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the DOJ to require “all officials and prosecutors” accused of receiving bribes to take a leave of absence.
On January 19, the National Bureau of Investigation said there was no “convincing evidence” that prosecutors were bribed.
Arroyo ordered the filing of charges against those involved in the drug case. Inquirer Research
Source: PDI Archives, Inquirer Research files