October 30, 2012
THE RECENT acquittal by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City of one of the so-called Alabang Boys earlier charged with violation of the Comprehensive Anti-Drug Abuse Law comes in the heels of the acquittal of other “Alabang Boys” by the Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa.
We dismissed their cases after subjecting them to a preliminary investigation about four years ago during my incumbency as chief state prosecutor for insufficiency of evidence. For this, I and our prosecutors were immediately branded as coddlers of drug lords. My reputation and those of our prosecutors handling the cases were pilloried in the media on the mere suspicions triggered by malicious and unfounded accusations and innuendoes floated by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). Our prosecutors were unfairly suspended and, in my case, I had to go on voluntary leave for about a month while undergoing an embarrassing inquiry.
After a rigorous investigation of our purported misconduct in the dismissal of the case, the special investigating body created by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo found nothing irregular or anomalous in the way the cases was handled and disposed of. We were then subjected to a humiliating inquiry by the House of Representatives and were even presumed guilty, only to be vindicated later.
Today, more than four years later, comes the final vindication from a malevolent and baseless suspicion—not the first time but the second, but this time telling the world with resounding vigor that the PDEA evidence against these Alabang Boys cannot stand the meticulous gaze of truth.
—Jovencito R. Zuño
former chief state prosecutor