Ex ‘drug-buster’ Marcelino walks free after 4 months in jail
After spending more than four months in jail, detained ex-“drugs buster” Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino walks free again, with an exposé to tell, and a new crusade.
Wearing his Navy uniform and glasses, Marcelino walked out of the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City, at 7:25 p.m. on Friday, hours after his bail was posted at the Quezon City Hall of Justice.
He was fetched by his siblings, lawyer Cornelio Samaniego, and his “mistah” from the Philippine Military Academy Vonne Villanueva, who had been acting as his spokesperson throughout his incarceration.
After thanking his supporters, Marcelino told members of the media: “I am happy some of the truth has come out. You can see in the court resolution what has been proven…I am hoping and praying that would also come out in the DOJ and that it will dismiss my case.”
“They really have no strong case against me. And I am really innocent,” Marcelino said in Filipino.
Marcelino, the former celebrated head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Special Enforcement Service Unit, along with Chinese national Yan Yi Shou aka Randy, a former PDEA translator, are facing narcotics complaints, including manufacturing and possession of illegal drugs, at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Marcelino and Shou were arrested last Jan. 21 after they were caught in a “shabu” (methamphethamine hydrochloride) lab raided by the PDEA and the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Both men had claimed they were in the area for a legitimate anti-illegal drugs operation.
“I was only there [in Sta. Cruz] to validate information. Only to find out, in the course of the investigation, that those who arrested us were the same ones bringing in and out drugs there. And we have proof,” Marcelino said.
On Wednesday, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 82 judge Lyn Ebora-Cacha, who had been hearing Marcelino and Shou’s bail petition, allowed Marcelino to post P1-million bail, but denied Shou’s plea.
The judge’s release order for Marcelino on Friday showed the bail was posted through the Commonwealth Insurance Company. Villanueva said Marcelino’s family and the PMA Class of ’94 had raised around P93,000, enough to pay the surety bond.
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