After less than three months, Jose Remulla III, the son of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla walked free after the Las Piñas court acquitted him of possession of illegal drugs amounting to P1.3 million.
“Wherefore, premises considered, accused Juanito Jose Remulla III y Diaz is acquitted of the crime of violation of Section 11, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, on the ground of reasonable doubt,” read the 34-page decision of the Las Piñas Regional Trial Court Branch 197.
Pearlito Campanilla, one of Remulla’s lawyers said his client was acquitted because he was not the alleged importer of kush or high-grade marijuana.
The lawyer said that the name indicated in the box that holds bags of marijuana does not identify his client.
The identification stated “Jose Juanito Remulla,” instead of “Juanito Jose Remulla III.”
“Actually ‘yong ID mali pa nga ‘yong pangalan no’ng ID doon sa shipping form. Ang ID is Jose Juanito Remulla, ‘yong ID niya, Juanito Jose Remulla III,” Campanilla said.
The younger Remulla was arrested on Oct. 11, 2022.
On October 14, he was charged for possession of illegal drugs before the regional trial court of Las Piñas.
The younger Remulla then had an arraignment on November 4.
When asked why the younger Remulla’s trial was fast, Campanilla told reporters that they followed the continuous trial guidelines for drug cases which give courts up to 75 days to resolve the entire case.
Some personalities and social media users found the younger Remulla’s trial relatively swifter compared to other detainees accused of drug crimes.
Many also cited the case of former senator Leila De Lima who has been detained for six years. She, however, has never been convicted.
“Bakit ang bilis natapos trial ng anak ni Remulla? Samantalang sa mga ibang drug cases in which ordinary citizens ang involved inaabot ng ilang months to years. Postpone dito, postpone doon. Nabubulok tuloy sa kulungan ang mga accused,” a Twitter user asked.
“Talagang magkaiba yung hustisya para sa mayaman at hustisya para sa mahirap. Hindi natin hinuhusgahan ang guilt ni Juanito Jose Remulla III. Pero kapansin-pansin ang bilis ng trial nya at pagrespeto sa mga karapatan nya, bagay na ‘di binigay sa mga biktima ng gera kontra droga,” activist Renato Reyes Jr. said.
“While Sec Boying Remulla’s son is acquitted after a lightning-quick trial, Leila de Lima is still in jail and thousands of people accused of drug crimes are similarly detained for years even before having their day in court,” anthropologist and columnist Gideon Lasco wrote.
“I refuse to accept that this is ‘justice,’” he added.
Former Supreme Court spokesperson Theodoro Te also noticed the expedited trial and hoped that the Muntinlupa trial court will also do the same for De Lima.
“A Las Piñas trial court has acquitted an accused of drug charges in what is, by our standards, record time. Perhaps the Muntinlupa trial court can consider doing the same for the falsely accused Leila de Lima sooner rather than later. #FreeLeilaDeLimaNow,” Te said in a tweet.
“Meanwhile, Senator DE LIMA has been held for years on what ‘incontrovertible’ and ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ evidence & witness testimony again!?” current affairs commentator Richard Heydarian said.
De Lima is facing two drug charges, despite retractions of individuals related to the allegations against her. In 2021, she was acquitted in one of her three cases.
In October last year, the call to release De Lima was renewed after she became a victim of a “near-death” hostage inside the police’s national headquarters.