President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday said there was no basis for calls made on social media for Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla to resign after the latter’s eldest son was charged with receiving a package of high-grade marijuana or kush worth P1.3 million.
“You call for somebody to resign if he’s not doing his job or that they have misbehaved in that job. (Secretary Remulla) has done quite the contrary,” Marcos said during the sidelines of the 8th Annual Balik Scientist Convention.
The President said the elder Remulla has stated that he will not intervene in his son Juanito Jose Remulla III’s case.
The Secretary reiterated this on his return to the country last night after leading the Philippine delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 51st dialogues in Geneva, Switzerland.
Remulla said he has yet to see his son, who is currently under the custody of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
“He has taken the very proper position that he is recusing himself from any involvement in the case of his son,” Mr. Marcos noted.
“I think that being the secretary of the Department of Justice he’s very aware that he must allow the processes of the judiciary to work properly and that no one in the executive should interfere,” the President said.
Amid calls by some sectors for him to step down, Remulla said only Mr. Marcos Jr. can decide on his fate in government.
“I serve at the pleasure of the President. I think that’s the most important principle here,” Remulla said in an interview with SMNI network Friday.
“When I heard about it, I did not ask for any favor, just to get him a lawyer for his right to defend himself,” he said.
“I have not asked anybody any favor because the system has to work. I am part of the system, I trust the system,” added Remulla, who said hewill remain focused on his job in reforming the justice system.
Criminal charges have been filed against Juanito Jose Remulla III for the alleged importation of dangerous drugs, which carries a penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of P500,000 to P10 million.
In a statement Friday, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said Juanito Jose has been charged for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 before the Las Piñas City Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday.
The younger Remulla was arrested at around 11:10 a.m. on Oct. 11 in Barangay Talon Dos, Las Piñas City, in connection with a shipment containing 893.91 grams of kush or high-grade marijuana intercepted atthe Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The contraband was in a parcel shipped by a certain Benjamin Huffman, from the United States and allegedly consigned to the younger Remulla.
The city prosecutor recommended no bail for Juanito Jose owing to the volume of illegal drugs involved.
In a handwritten statement on Thursday, Justice Secretary Remulla said he would “not intervene in his son’s predicament.”
“We all know about unconditional love, but at 38 years old, he will have to face his predicament as a fully emancipated child. I have toabide by the oath of office I took when I assumed this position,” Remulla wrote. (See full story online at manilastandard.net)
“A person should always face the consequences of their actions and I will let justice take its own course,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice’s National Prosecution Service assured the public that the Las Pinas City Prosecutor’s Office will be fair in its resolution of the drug case against Juanito Jose
“The directions from the secretary of Justice are clear in this case. He will neither intervene nor interfere,” DOJ-NPS Prosecutor General Benedicto A. Malcontento said.
“Rest assured that our prosecutors in Las Pinas will resolve the matter fairly and independently,” Malcontento said.
Senator JV Ejercito said he believes the Justice secretary would be fair.
“Knowing Secretary Boying Remulla for three decades, I know he will not tolerate this even if it’s his son who is involved,” Ejercito said.
“I know this man,” he said. “I know his character and his dedication to public service.”
Senator Imee Marcos said Remulla’s handwritten statement was enough.
“I can add nothing to that,” she said in Filipino.
Liberal Party president and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Friday said there is no reason for Remulla to resign on account of his son’s offense as long as he does not interfere in the investigation, prosecution, or adjudication of his son’s case.
“While we cannot choose our relatives, we can choose not to intervene on their behalf for violation of the law,” the opposition lawmaker said in a statement.
Lagman said Secretary Remulla must be held to his handwritten undertaking that he would allow justice to take its course.
However, he said the Remulla family must explain why it took almost two days for them to disclose the capture and detention of Juanito Jose.
The National Unity Party (NUP) also expressed support for Remulla, who is its vice chairman.
“We have known Secretary Remulla for years. His professionalism and love of country is (sic) unparalleled,” said the NUP statement signed by its chairperson Ronaldo Puno and president Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte
The NUP also commended Remulla “for promptly assuring authorities that he will not, in any way, interfere in or influence the case of his son.”