DOJ chief’s son arrested in P1 million marijuana bust
Antidrug operatives have arrested the eldest son of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla for possession of over P1 million worth of high-grade marijuana, or “kush,” in Las Piñas City, according to a report on Thursday by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Juanito Jose Diaz Remulla III was arrested by agents from the PDEA and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group after he received a parcel containing about 1 kilo of kush on Tuesday at a house in BF Resort Village.
Rumors about the arrest in a drug bust of a relative of a high government official first appeared on social media on Wednesday.
Pa won’t intervene
In a handwritten statement released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) around 6 p.m. on Thursday, the justice secretary said he would “not intervene in nor influence” any case filed against his 38-year-old son.
He also thanked the PDEA “for doing their job, without fear or favor.”
“We all know about unconditional love, but at 38 years old, he will have to face his predicament as a fully emancipated child. I have to abide by the oath of office I took when I assumed this position,” he said in the statement.
He is on a flight back from Geneva, Switzerland, where he attended the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting where he defended the Duterte administration’s antidrug war and the government’s human rights record.
The justice chief said it was a “very difficult time” for him and his family “but this is nothing compared to what so many Filipinos are going through.”
“I will respect the justice system. And I wish my son a path to redemption,” he said.
The PDEA said the arrest of Remulla was part of a “controlled delivery operation” of illegal drugs under regulations set by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).
This operation allows an unlawful or suspect consignment of any dangerous drug or controlled precursor and essential chemical, equipment or paraphernalia to enter or leave the country “under supervision of an authorized officer,” according to the DDB regulation.
The intention of this kind of operation is to gather evidence to identify any person involved in a dangerous drug-related offense or to help in the prosecution of a drug case.
The PDEA report said that an investigation found that the parcel came from a certain Benjamin Huffman of 1524 Hornblend Street in San Diego, California.
The indicated consignee was a certain “Juanito Remulla,” at an address inside BF Resort Village. It is not the registered address at BF Homes in Parañaque City of the justice secretary’s son who was arrested there with the packets containing the illegal drug.
The two packets seized from him contained kush weighing 937 grams, with a street value of P1,311,800.
Jonvic: Hands-off, too
He was booked for inquest before the Las Piñas city prosecutor’s office on Thursday afternoon. He is under the custody of the PDEA at its Quezon City headquarters.
Cavite Gov. Juanito “Jonvic” Remulla Jr. also said in a statement that he would not use his position to support his nephew.
“While he is family, my oath as Cavite governor and as a public servant is paramount above any of his alleged transgressions,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
The governor also warned other family members not to influence the prosecution. “We will not tolerate an abuse of power in any way,” he said.
He said the family was not informed about the operation by the PDEA and “they were correct in doing so.”
According to him, the family, especially his 87-year-old mother, was “devastated” by what happened. He thanked those who expressed their concern.
“What we are going through is what millions of Filipino families are also going through now. We have been asked numerous times by friends and associates to intervene with their family members’ cases and we have never in any way intervened. We are not about to break any rules now,” the governor said.
Kush is said to have a “heavy and sedating” effect. Varieties crossed with kush result in a couch-locked euphoria which leads to internal reflection, putting the user in a meditative state.
It originated in South Asian countries and is also cultivated in Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. Unlike the common cannabis plants propagated in the Philippines, kush is a dwarf type of marijuana plant, making it harder for authorities to trace.
According to the PDEA, the first time it seized this type of hybrid marijuana in the country was in 2018.