Marcelino in tears at CA over drug charges
MANILA, Philippines—Marine Colonel Ferdinand Marcelino broke into tears on Wednesday when he recalled his incarceration over illegal drug charges in 2016.
Marcelino was among the 43 military officers who faced their confirmation hearing before the Commission on Appointments’ (CA) committee on national defense.
“I must tell that experience has been…malungkot po yun sir eh,” he told the CA’s committee on national defense when the issue was brought up by Cebu Rep. Raul Del Mar.
“Pasensya na kayo sir, medyo ‘pag naalala ko kasi nagiging emotional ako eh. Hindi kasi madaling makulong especially if you don’t do anything wrong,” he said.
Marcelino, a former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) intelligence officer, and an informant were arrested in an entrapment operation in Manila on Jan. 21, 2016.
He said the case against him was dismissed but only after he suffered in jail for months.
“Bakit nga po ba ako nagtagal sa kulungan? First, kasi mabagal talaga yung justice system natin,” he said.
“In fact when I was in jail, I have met a lot of people na nandun na sila five, 10 years…Siguro masuwerte nga ako kasi almost one year lang ako e, and then truth came out.”
When he was released from detention, Marcelino said he thought of leaving the military but changed his mind after realizing that it is a calling to stay in the service.
“Sa Marine sir, taboo yung naiiyak ka, nagiging emotional…” he said.
But he wept anyway as he recalled his time spent in jail.
“Thinking yung mga gabi, yung mga oras na nasa loob ka ng kulungan sir…na pwede kang mamatay dun,” Marcelino said.
At this point, Senator Cynthia Villar proposed the filing of a resolution to ask the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to explain what happened to Marcelino.
“Maybe we can ask the Armed Forces of the Philippines to make an explanation, give us a written explanation and copy furnish to all the members of the CA,” Villar said.
But Marcelino said the AFP leadership had already explained the case as he put the blame on some officials of the PDEA and the Philippine National Police at the time.
The panel later recommended his confirmation and 42 others. /jpv
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