Marcelino: I wasn’t coerced to testify against De Lima
THE former head of the Special Enforcement Service Unit of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Marine Lieutenant Colonel Ferdinand Marcelino, denied on Thursday night that he was being pressured by the government to testify against Senator Leila de Lima.
De Lima earlier said a common acquaintance forwarded to her Marcelino’s text message saying that there are groups convincing him to speak against her and he is a victim of fabricated allegations.
“Categorical ko pong dini-deny na pini-pressure ako o may nananakot o nagko-coerce sa akin on the side of the government upang magsalita laban sa kanya [Senator De Lima],” Marcelino said at a press conference.
He said he texted his mistah or classmate from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) who is a relative of De Lima.
Marcelino said part of his text message was a word of encouragement for De Lima but nothing about being coerced.
“It is a privileged communication between me and my classmate,” Marcelino said adding that his message to De Lima was about staying strong and keeping the faith.
However, he admitted that there is someone who approached him and asked him if there he can say something negative against De Lima.
“I told the person that I will always side with the truth. Wala akong masasabing labag sa katotohanan,” Marcelino said. The person who approached him, he said, was a retired government officer.
“I do not even know who he represents,” Marcelino said.
Last June, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed the illegal drugs case against him and Chinese companion Yan Yi Shou.
But in a recent resolution, the DOJ reversed its earlier ruling and filed the case in court.
Marcelino’s lawyer, Public Attorneys’ Office Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta, said they will ask the Manila Court to suspend the issuance of a warrant of arrest. They will also file a motion to quash the criminal information and determination of probable cause.
Marcelino maintained his innocence, insisting that his presence at the house in Manila where P380-million worth of shabu was seized was known to PDEA.
“Hindi ko alam bakit yan hinuli,” Acosta said.
“Walang-wala na po ako. Pangalan na lang ang meron ako sinira pa nila,” Marcelino said.
Marcelino’s intelligence works have led to the arrest of several drug traffickers including the so-called the Alabang Boys, the raid in Camiling, Tarlac that yielded billions worth of drugs and the raid inside the New Bilibid Prisons led by then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
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