Eldest son of Philippines justice secretary arrested in drug sting

Luis Liwanag and Jojo Riñoza
Eldest son of Philippines justice secretary arrested in drug sting Philippine human rights lawyer Chel Diokno (left) and Divine Word Missionary priest Flaviano Villanueva assist in the turnover of a drug war victim’s ashes to a relative during a memorial service at a church in Manila, Nov. 15, 2021.
Basilio Sepe/BenarNews

The eldest son of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s justice secretary was arrested earlier this week for allegedly possessing illegal drugs valued at U.S. $22,000, his family said Thursday.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said his son, Juanito Jose Diaz Remulla III, 38, would have to “face his predicament as a fully emancipated child” and stressed he would not use his position to help him. 

News of the arrest broke as Remulla was in Geneva and had just defended before the United Nations the war on drugs that began under the previous administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and killed thousands of mostly poor drug addicts and small-time drug dealers. 

“I have to abide by the oath of office that I took when I assumed this position,” Remulla said in a handwritten statement, responding to his son’s arrest on Oct. 11.

“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 consequences of their actions and I will let justice take its own course.”

While acknowledging the arrest was difficult to bear, Remulla stressed it was nothing compared to the sufferings of fellow citizens touched by the drugs scourge.  He said he hoped his son would go on a “path to redemption.”

Customs police arrested the younger Remulla during a controlled delivery of a confiscated drug shipment valued at $22,000 (1.3 million pesos) in southern metro Manila.

About 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of a hybrid strain of marijuana known as kush was confiscated at a mall in Pasay City, according to the Bureau of Customs. It said the shipment originated in San Diego, Calif., and was labeled “hooded sweaters.”

The elder Remulla’s brother, who is governor of the province of Cavite, south of Manila, also said the family will not intervene in the case.

“Secretary Boying has pledged that he will not, in any way interfere, intervene, nor use any of his affiliations to influence the charges against his son,” Jonvic Remulla said, referring to the justice secretary by his nickname. 

Marcos has pledged to protect Duterte from prosecution and has rejected a request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the former president over the drug war deaths. Marcos has said the Philippines has a working justice system and that the drug war would continue, but with a different approach. 

Duterte, who left office in June after serving six years as president, drew scrutiny from local and foreign groups for his administration’s crackdown on narcotics that killed more than 8,000 suspected drug dealers and addicts, according to government statistics.

Rights activists have said the number killed could be three times higher. The alleged extrajudicial killings were often carried out by masked assassins.

In 2019, Duterte unilaterally withdrew the Philippines from the International Criminal Court following its initial investigation into his administration’s drug-related killings.


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Lumad Ako
Oct 14, 2022 12:55 AM

I am already so tired of the western intervention in the Philippines. If in Europe or America, drug is fine, in the Philippines is a big no. Before Duterte, I even witnessed my 5 years old nephew using methamphetamine (Shabu) it is so disgusting that at very early age children are already joining gang and using illegal drugs. I could not understand why this European countries and the America are protecting the drug sellers and users..