Military intel vouches for Marcelino
The camp of bemedaled Marine Lieutenant Colonel Ferdinand Marcelino on Tuesday insisted before the Manila Regional Trial Court that his actions including the time he was caught in a drug bust operation in Manila were sanctioned by the military.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Marcelino presented a certification from the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines signed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Intelligence Chief Brigadier General Ronald C. Villanueva showing that he has authority from the military although the certification did not specify the raid in Manila that yielded over P300 million worth of drugs.
“This service was aware of his continuing efforts which have significantly strengthened the various intelligence and counter-intelligence operations not only of the AFP but also of other law enforcement agencies.”
“Further, he laterally coordinated with law enforcement agencies such as NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) in pursuing his intelligence operations against illegal drugs and organized crime groups which, however was cut short by his unfortunate ‘arrest’ incident in an operation in Manila on Jan. 20, 2016,” the certification further stated.
The same certification stated that Marcelino has never been involved in any illegal activities particularly in illegal drugs.
Aside from this, Marcelino’s camp also presented to the court a letter from former Bureau of Customs Commissioner Jessie Dellosa calling Marcelino a prime support agent for the bureau’s intelligence group who provided information in their operations against drug syndicates.
But the prosecution panel headed by State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera said the certification did not say categorically whether Marcelino is authorized to conduct surveillance operations in the particular apartment where he and his Chinese companion Yan Yi Shou were arrested.
Navera also said he was told by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Philippine National Police-Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) representatives that they did not know of any involvement of Marcelino in their anti-drug operations at that time nor that the ISAFP had been conducting similar operations.
The prosecution panel also opposed Marcelino’s motion for him to be taken into custody by the AFP.
“He should be detained at the city jail since he was being prosecuted for a criminal and civilian offense,” Navera said.
The court gave the prosecution and defense 30 days to submit their respective memoranda before it will decide on the case and another 15 days for the prosecution for their comments on the plea of Marcelino to be under AFP custody.
Marcelino and his Chinese pal were charged for violating Section 11 (possession of dangerous drugs), Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in connection with their arrest and the recovery of P380 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu.”
Marcelino said the root cause of his arrest was because then PDEA Director Arturo Cacdac was “historically irate” at his continued involvement in the anti-drug campaign of the government.
Last June, the Department of Justice (DOJ) through Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva junked all the charges against Marcelino and Yan for insufficiency of evidence, prompting the PNP-AIDG and PDEA to file a motion for reconsideration.
The DOJ later reversed its findings and ordered the indictment of Marcelino and Yan.
Marcelino gained prominence when he was still with the PDEA when he led anti-drug operatives in the arrest of the so-called “Alabang Boys,” in which three scions of wealthy families were nabbed in a sting operation.
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