Lawyer hints at possible motive in Marcelino’s arrest
The lawyer of Marine officer Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino suspects his client’s criticism of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s (PDEA) performance is the reason why the institution is apparently going against him.
Atty. Dennis Manalo claimed on Monday that there is an ongoing demolition job against Marcelino, a veteran drug buster and a former PDEA officer, who was arrested in a drug raid in Manila last week.
“He has been a serious critic of the agency’s performance. To me that’s a possible motive why he’s cornered and being asked to prove his innocence when in fact he is presumed innocent and acted regularly until there is evidence to show otherwise,” Manalo told television program ANC Headstart during an interview Monday.
He said he believed that Marcelino’s ”integrity and credibility as an anti-drug crusader” is being destroyed.
Manalo also said that Marcelino could not understand PDEA Director General Arturo Cacdac’s apparent “animosity” against him.
“Let me just tell you a [recent] incident narrated to me by Col. Marcelino. He has been operating not only in the Philippines but other parts of Asia–Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong. Ganun kalalim ang operation ni Col. Marcelino (That’s how extensive his operation is),” Manalo said.
“He was in Hong Kong and was requesting PDEA to issue a certificate to him that he has no drug case pending. And you know the response he got from the leadership of PDEA Dir. Cacdac? He was informed that the response was that ‘Bakit ba di na lang manghuli ng ASG (Abu Sayaff Group) sa Basilan si Marcelino? Ba’t ba nakikialam pa sa drugs (Why doesn’t Marcelino just catch ASG in Basilan? Why should he be involved in drugs?),” he added.
Marcelino is a known drug buster during his stint with PDEA, when he was former director of the Special Enforcement Service in mid-2000s.
He led several high profile operations in the past including the apprehension of the so-called Alabang Boys. His intelligence information also led to the discovery of P3 billion worth of shabu in Camiling, Tarlac, in 2014.
Manalo said that when the raiding operatives saw and recognized Marcelino in Manila early Thursday, they turned hesitant because he was known to PDEA agents.
“Only when Director Cacdac arrived that things started to change….He had a different attitude….He (Marcelino) was immediately presented to the media as a suspect. Walang verification to check what he’s doing. They threw the burden on Marcelino to prove his presence,” Manalo said. ASU
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