THE Las Piñas Regional Trial Court on Friday acquitted Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla’s eldest son, Juanito Jose Remulla III, of an illegal drug possession charge.
Despite the good news, the elder Remulla gave a cold “no comment” when asked about the speedy trial and acquittal.
The 38-year-old Juanito was arrested in his house in October 2022 while receiving a parcel containing “kush” or high-grade marijuana worth P1.25 million.
Not the importer
Pearlito Campanilla, one of Juanito’s lawyers, said the court acquitted his client because the court found that he was not the one who had imported the kush.
Campanilla said the name on the shipper’s form and the name on Juanito’s ID were different.
He also said the package was for a “Juanito Remulla,” which is “very much different from Juanito Jose Remulla III.”
“What is on trial here is not only Joey Remulla but actually the delivery service of the courier system na pwede abusuhin para i-frame up ang isang inosenteng tao,” he told reporters in an interview streamed online.
Chain of custody question
He also said there were issues with the chain of custody while the case was being processed.
“Kailangan niyan kapag kinumpiska mo, tatawag ka ng DOJ representative, media representative o ng barangay. Hindi nila ginawa,” he said.
According to the court, “animus possidendi” or the intent to possess the parcel on the part of Juanito was not clearly established.
“In a controlled delivery, the mere designation as the consignee or even the acceptance of a package containing illicit items, is not enough to show that the recipient is engaged in an unlawful activity,” the court said.
It pointed out that receiving the parcel is not enough to establish criminal liability, since other circumstances have to be presented to prove that the recipient was aware of its contents.
The court also took note of the prosecution’s failure to present other evidence to show that the accused knew that the parcel contained marijuana.
Campanilla said he would seek to have Juanito released after his acquittal.
Juanito is still facing a complaint at the Pasay City Prosecution office for drug importation and violation of customs law. Campanilla said there is no arrest warrant yet for the second complaint.
His camp, however, is confident that Juanito will be cleared of the charge.
Following the news about Juanito’s case, netizens called Justice Secretary Boying Remulla to step down from his position, but he vowed that he would not intervene in the investigation of his son’s case.
Banner courtesy of Facebook: Boying Remulla