DOJ Chief Boying Remulla on Son's Marijuana Arrest: 'I Wish My Son a Path to Redemption'
It's been quite the week for Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Crispin "Boying" Remulla. While on a business trip, the chief's son was arrested in a buy-bust operation in Las Piñas City. Public uproar followed.
Juanito Jose Diaz Remulla III was caught on Tuesday, October 11, with more than 900 grams of "kush," a variety of high-grade marijuana at a house in Barangay Talon, Las Piñas City. The parcel was said to be worth around P1.3 million. This delivery was shipped by a man named Benjamin Huffman, and was allegedly consigned to the younger Remulla.
In a handwritten statement, Remulla said: "I am both a father and the Secretary of Justice, roles that I take very seriously. 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 to abide by the Oath of Office I took when I assumed this position."
He also thanked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for "doing their job, without fear or favor." Remulla said that he has no "conflict with them."
Some citizens, however, are much more skeptical. Dissenters question how the DOJ and PDEA are going to carry out an independent investigation with Remulla, the suspect's father, at the helm.
Sociologist Ash Presto, for instance, wrote: "It's unacceptable to just pen a letter when, as the Justice Secretary, your son commits what has been painted as the most criminal act in the Philippines for the last six (and counting) years. Boying Remulla should resign."
Remulla, we may recall, had been one of the Drug War campaign's most vocal supporters. In an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source back in 2019, Remulla even claimed that he was pro-death penalty for drug-related offenses. The DOJ chief, who was House senior deputy majority leader at the time, said that drug criminals are like "cockroaches" who need to be "ended."
"The drug syndicates are being run from the jails and there’s no stopping it unless you really put an end to many of them," he noted.
Many families have crosses to bear. This is ours. Drug addiction is the scourge that ruins lives, tears families apart and breaks loving hearts.— Gilbert C. Remulla (@GilbertCRemulla) October 13, 2022
10/14/22— Leila de Lima (@AttyLeiladeLima) October 14, 2022
As a parent, I can only sympathize with Sec. Boying Remulla in the arrest of his son. Like everyone else, whether he is the son of the Justice Secretary or not, Juanito Jose Remulla is presumed innocent until proven guilty. pic.twitter.com/aQGO6YDyTf
Nevertheless, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and several senators have expressed their support for Remulla.
Marcos called the demands "baseless." The president made it clear to reporters yesterday, October 15, that he still has faith in the DOJ chief. “You call for somebody to resign if he’s not doing his job or that they have misbehaved in that job,” Marcos said.
Remulla himself, in an interview with SMNI News Channel, said that he serves "at the pleasure of the president." It had been the first interview he gave since his son's arrest.
Senators such as Ramon "Bong" Remulla, Imee Marcos, Sherwin "Win" Gatchalian, and JV Ejercito, among others, threw their support behind Remulla, as well.
“Knowing Remulla for three decades, I know he will not tolerate this even if it’s his son who is involved,” Ejercito told Philippine Daily Inquirer. Gatchalian also remarked that Remulla's resignation would be “uncalled for, unjust and without basis.”
Remulla ultimately said that he is confident in the Philippines' jail reforms and corrections system.