war on drugs

TIMELINE: Juanito Remulla III’s drug case 

Pola Regalario

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TIMELINE: Juanito Remulla III’s drug case 
Rappler compiles a list of events relevant to the case. The list will be updated as new information arises.

MANILA, Philippines – 38-year-old Juanito Jose Remulla III is Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla’s eldest son. Juanito Jose was arrested on October 11 for alleged possession of illegal drugs. 

Critics worry that Remulla’s position as Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary could muddle the resolution of his son’s case. Remulla vows not to intervene with the case saying, “he will have to face his predicament as a fully emancipated child.” 

What have the developments in the case been so far? Rappler compiles a list of events relevant to the case:

September 27, 2022

A shipment of kush, a type of marijuana, is intercepted by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay. A certain “Juanito Remulla” is the addressed recipient of the shipment that contained around 900 grams of kush worth around P1.3 million. BOC contacts and coordinates with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) once the shipment of illegal drugs is identified. 

October 10, 2022

PDEA coordinates with the director of Southern Police District, Colonel Kirby John Brion Kraft, regarding an operation against a certain Juanito Remulla. 

October 11, 2022

Juanito Remulla III is arrested by PDEA and members of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group in Las Piñas City. Two packets containing kush worth around P1.3 million are confiscated.

Secretary Remulla is informed of his son’s arrest during his visit to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

October 13, 2022

The arrest of Remulla III is made public. Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, the justice secretary’s brother, confirms the arrest of his nephew. “Si Juanito Jose Diaz Remulla III ay pamangking buo ko po. Siya ay panganay na anak na lalaki ni Justice Secretary Boying Remulla. Si Sec Boying po ay nasa Geneva ngayon at pauwi pa lamang bukas,” Jonvic says in a statement.

(Juanito Jose Diaz Remulla III is my nephew. He is the eldest son of Justice Secretary Boying Remulla. Sec Boying is still in Geneva, and he will head home tomorrow.)

The elder Remulla also releases a handwritten note confirming the arrest of his son. In the note, he says: “I will not intervene in nor influence my son’s predicament, and I have not done so in any way. A person should always face the consequence of their actions and I will let justice take its own course.” He arrives from Geneva at 5 pm. 

Juanito Jose undergoes inquest proceedings for illegal drugs in Las Piñas City. He and his lawyer refuse to give comment to the media. He is temporarily detained in the PDEA detention facility in Quezon City.

October 14, 2022

Juanito Jose is charged for possession of dangerous drugs in Las Piñas at 4:20 pm. It is filed at the Las Piñas City Regional Trial Court. Bail is not recommended. 

Separate complaints for importation of dangerous drugs and violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act are referred to the Pasay City prosecutors as they have jurisdiction over it.

President Marcos says that calls for Secretary Remulla’s resignation have no basis. The National Unity Party (NUP) along with a majority of senators also express support for the justice secretary.

Remulla evades justice reporters. He instead gives an interview on Laban Kasama ng Bayan of the SMNI News Channel. He details how he came to know of his son’s arrest.

He says: “Noong Martes po ng madaling araw, ako po ay nagising, sinabihan po ako na may nangyari nga dito sa Pilipinas. Ako po ay nasa Geneva noon, on the way to my second interactive dialogue na kasama po ang human rights committee ng United Nations…. At ‘yun nga, nagulat po ako noong umaga, sinabi sa akin na may nangyari. Nahuli nga – hinuli ‘yung aking anak at isa lang naman ang sinabi ko sa aking asawa: na kumuha na lang ng abogado sapagka’t ‘yan lang ang paraan para maging malinaw ang lahat.

(Early Monday morning, I was woken with the news that something happened in the Philippines. I was in Geneva then, on the way to my second interactive dialogue with the human rights committee of the United Nations…. I was surprised that morning, I was told that something happened. My son was arrested and I only told my wife one thing: get a lawyer because that was the only way to clarify everything.)

He also reiterates that he has no plans to resign from his post.

October 15, 2022

PDEA announces they will not subject Juanito Jose to a drug test. According to PDEA spokesperson Derrick Carreon, Juanito Jose refused to undergo drug testing. He invokes his right against self-incrimination on the advice of his counsel. Had he tested positive, he could have faced an additional complaint for use of illegal drugs under Section 15 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

October 16, 2022 

The justice secretary is interviewed by Anthony Taberna. He discusses what happened during the interactive dialogue held by the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland. He acknowledges that while human rights violations have been committed in the Philippines, the human rights situation isn’t as dire or as severe as non-government organizations make it seem to the international community. He reiterates his renewed focus on rehabilitation and reformation in tackling issues in the justice system.

Surigao del Norte Representative Robert Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs, asks how P1.3-million worth of kush got past US Customs and Border Protection. He urges the US government to strengthen its control of its borders.

October 17, 2022 

Remulla attends first DOJ flag ceremony since son’s arrest. “Karamihan ng trabaho natin ang deadline kahapon pa so let’s all go back to work (The deadline for most of our tasks was yesterday, so let’s all go back to work). Good morning,” he says in a brief speech, making no mention of his son’s case.

October 18, 2022

Remulla holds a press briefing with justice reporters. In his first time to face reporters since his son’s arrest, he insists the case won’t reach his department. “If it’s an adverse case against my son, it will not be appealed here. It will go straight to the courts for trial.” 

He also maintains his refusal to resign. “It will not happen. I will not comment anymore on the other issues there, but it will not happen,” Remulla says. “No comment, basta (but) I know myself, I know it’s not only me on trial here. It’s my son on trial, it’s the country on trial in some ways. It’s par for the course, it happens and no more comment on that.”

October 19, 2022

Remulla witnesses deportation of 6 illegal POGO workers in NAIA. He does not comment when asked if he tried to visit his son. – Rappler.com

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