Arroyo wants speedy DoJ bribery probe
MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is “concerned” over the bribery scandal at the Department of Justice (DoJ) and wants the department’s internal investigation into the matter speeded up, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Arroyo has ordered Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez to finish his investigation into allegations that prosecutors were bribed to work for the release of three alleged high-profile drug dealers so she can take appropriate action, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita told reporters at the Palace.
“Of course, the President is concerned because everyone is under the supervision of the President. All of this must be given a conclusion,” Ermita said.
According to reports, agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) refused bribes of between P3 to P50 million for the release of Richard Brodett, Jorge Joseph, and Joseph Tecson — alleged suppliers of drugs in upscale Metro Manila nightclubs.
Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor was also accused of following up on the release of the suspects.
While he admitted checking on the status of the case, he denied pressing for the release of the three.
“I have confidence in him,” Ermita said of Blancaflor, whom he worked with at the Department of National Defense (DND) when he was head of the Anti-Terrorism Council.
Ermita said Gonzalez informed Arroyo that he has reiterated a 2003 memorandum stating that suspects should remain in detention until the dismissal of their cases are final.
Gonzalez has not acted on the recommendation of state prosecutors to release the so-called “Alabang boys.”
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