Arroyo orders cooperation in drug probe
MANILA, Philippines – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered all concerned government agencies to “promptly cooperate” with the investigation of an independent panel on the bribery case involving three high-profile drug suspects.
The President issued Administrative Order 252 addressed to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Philippine Drug Enforcement (PDEA), and the National Bureau of Investigation.
The agencies were “enjoined to promptly cooperate with and assist the ‘Alabang Boys’ independent fact-finding committee in performing its functions,” according to the order, which was signed on January 29, but was released only on Friday.
The “Alabang Boys” are Richard Brodett, Joseph Tecson, and Jorge Joseph, scions of prominent families, who were arrested in September 2008 after a buy-bust operation by PDEA agents.
A decision by DOJ prosecutors to dismiss the case of the suspects, citing irregularities in the PDEA operations, resulted in an exchange of bribery allegations between the two government agencies and an investigation into the controversy by the House of Representatives.
The palace formed a three-man panel to look into the issue.
“All officials and employees within the Executive, who may be invited by the committee as resource persons shall attend its hearings and discussion, answer its queries, and submit all pertinent documents requested and/or required by the committee,” the order read.
The independent panel, headed by Supreme Court Associate Justice Carolina Griño Aquino, started its investigation on Thursday. It was constituted on January 28 and was given 15 days to finish its work.
Arroyo took charge of the country’s anti-drug campaign, and appointed herself as “czar” last month.
View article as posted on INQUIRER.net