One of the strongest defenders of the Philippines’ ongoing drug war policy in the current administration, Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla, has been placed in an awkward position after his son was arrested for his alleged involvement in the importation of kush, a marijuana strain.
Remulla’s son, Juanito Jose Diaz Remulla III, was caught by authorities on Tuesday after two packets of suspected kush worth PHP1.3 million (US$22,058) were seized from him. The kush allegedly came from abroad.
Cavite governor Jonvic Remulla, the justice chief’s brother and Juanito’s uncle, confirmed the news of the arrest to ABS-CBN News.
“Si Juanito Jose Diaz Remulla III ay pamangking buo ko po. Siya ay panganay na anak na lalake ni Justice Secretary Boying Remulla. Si Sec Boying po ay nasa Geneva ngayon at pauwi pa lamang bukas,” the governor told reporters. The justice chief is in Switzerland for the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council.
(Juanito Jose Diaz Remulla III is my nephew. He is the eldest son of Justice Secretary Boying Remulla. Sec. Boying is in Geneva now and is on his way home tomorrow.)
The justice secretary seemingly wasted no time in writing a statement he posted on social media soon after reports of his son’s arrest broke, saying he would not use his position to intervene on his son’s behalf.
“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,” Remulla wrote.
The chief said he has to “abide by the Oath of Office I took when I assumed this position.”
Remulla said he will not intervene in nor influence “[his] son’s predicament, and I have not done so in any way.”
He also said that he believes a person must face the consequences of his actions and let justice take its course, and thanked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for doing its job “without fear or favor.”
“This is a very difficult time for me and my family, but this is nothing compared to what so many Filipinos are going through. I will respect the justice system, and I wish my son a path to redemption,” he wrote.
His letter did not quell the sentiments of some Filipinos who are calling for Remulla to resign as a matter of delicadeza (dignity)over his son’s arrest.
Remulla, a former Cavite governor, has sparked controversy for being a notorious red-tagger (a term for one who accuses others of communism), claiming earlier this week that red-tagging “was a part of democracy. He also came under fire during the May elections’ campaign period for claiming without basis that those who attended former Vice President Leni Robredo’s sortie in his home province were paid and communists.
As justice secretary in the Marcos administration, Remulla also doubled down on the country’s stance against rejoining the International Criminal Court, and rebuked the ICC for “challenging the Philippine justice system” after the latter said it planned to resume the investigation of crimes allegedly committed under Duterte’s drug war.