Sunday, February 28, 2010
In a blog post I wrote on Mar 31, 2009 titled Sagada Men jailed for Peddling Hashish, I linked to a GMA News TV web article about Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agents seizing 13 bricks of hashish from three Sagada locals. I thank Gary, a poster in this blog, for updating me that the three men suspected has been released and "were found not guilty of the offense of selling illegal drugs" by a regional trial court.
Case dismissed against 3 alleged marijuana dealers
from Cordillera Express.com
Bontoc, Mountain Province, January 29, 2010. Three men accused of selling marijuana hashish bricks were released earlier today as the case against them was dismissed. The three, Vincent Navarro, Francis Page-et , and Edwin Datoc were found not guilty of the offense of selling illegal drugs by Judge Joseph A Patnaan of the Regional Trial Court Branch 36 here.
The three were arrested in Sagada on March 28, 2009 allegedly after selling 13 pieces of marijuana hashish bricks to a poseur-buyer from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The PDEA team that arrested them, led by PDEA Director Opeña presented the three to the media in Camp Dangwa the next day, with the PDEA harping on a successful operation against illegal drugs. It may be recalled that the PDEA is not under the Philippine National Police but directly under the Office of the President. While the PNP does not condone the presentation of suspects to the media under the principle that they are innocent until proven guilty, the PDEA is not averse to presuming guilt by publicly presenting suspects as though they are already convicted. It may be recalled that the drug enforcement agencies were smarting from the Alabang Boys fiasco at the time, and the presentation of the three was seen as a calculated move to present the PDEA as serious in the battle against illegal drugs.
Full Story can be found at: Case dismissed against 3 alleged marijuana dealers
This is an injustice and an outrage! What will the PDEA do to account for the time wasted in jail for the three alleged suspects? How about their tarnished reputation? Was there an apology ever provided to the accused and their families?