DOJ mulls inclusion of Marcelino as witness vs. De Lima
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Friday said the government might include Marine Lieutenant Colonel Ferdinand Marcelino as among the witnesses that will solidify the case against Senator Leila de Lima regarding the senator’s pending cases before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Courts.
Marcelino was recently released from detention after the Department of Justice (DOJ) withdrew the illegal drug case filed against him and his Chinese companion Yan Yi Shou.
Marcelino’s lawyer, Public Attorneys’ Office (PAO) Chief Persida Rueda Acosta, earlier said that Marcelino is willing to testify against De Lima.
“Anytime sabi niya he can testify. Pero kung ano ang ite-testify niya, hindi natin alam. Abangan na lang natin ang mangyayari if the government will utilize him in the Bilibid drug case (He can testify anytime. But regarding on what he will say, we’ll just have to wait for it),” Acosta said.
De Lima is facing three counts of drug-related cases related to violations of sections in the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. The cases have been raffled off to three different branches of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court.
“Our plan is to use him (Marcelino) as additional witness,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre said Marcelino can testify about his conversation with De Lima when she visited him in jail, as well as why the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) had been left out in the raid carried out at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Marcelino, in his affidavit submitted to Congress last year, revealed that De Lima visited him while he was detained at the PNP Custodial Center and discussed the dismantling of the biggest shabu laboratory in the country.
Marcelino said De Lima told him that President Benigno Aquino III is not involved in the operation of the shabu laboratory.
“Why is that the largest clandestine shabu laboratory (found to be) established right in the home province of then President Benigno Aquino III? (is) also the province where PDEA Director General Arturo Cacdac once served as provincial director of the PNP,” Marcelino pointed out.
“Is it possible that the syndicates already penetrated the highest political leadership of the country?” he added. JPV/rga
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