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DoJ pushes raps against Marcelino

The Department of Justice has reversed its earlier ruling and pushed for the filing of charges against Marine Col. Ferdinand Marcelino and a foreigner in connection with the multi-million shabu lab drug raid in Manila early this year, police officials disclosed yesterday.

Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola, former commander of what is now the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group, said the decision of the DoJ is a vindication on the part of the PNP which has been pushing for the indictment of Marcelino after they chanced upon him inside a shabu lab they raided in Manila early this year.

“Now that the decision was already reversed, we are happy. We are just doing our job, whoever you are for as long as you are involved, we will get you,” said Gardiola.

The case against Marcelino became controversial as both police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency agents who conducted raid were surprised to see Marcelino inside.

Marcelino, an active member of the Philippine Marines, used to work as an official of the PDEA. He, however, denied his links to illegal drugs and claimed that he was in the area because the same place was the subject of their operation.

But Marcelino, AIDG officials said, could not present any document that would justify his presence in the area.

Nearly R380 million of shabu was seized during the operation.

With the reversal of the decision, former AIDG Legal and Investigation Division chief Chief Insp. Roque Merdegia said they expect the issuance of an arrest warrant anytime soon.

The case is expected to be filed before a Manila court anytime soon.

“We are just waiting for the issuance of arrest warrant and after that, they can be considered as wanted,” said Merdegia.

Marcelino was released recently for lack of evidence. His co-accused was identified as Yan Yi Shou who also worked as a PDEA asset.

In yesterday’s hearing, the name of Marcelino again cropped up after Deputy Director General Benjamin Ma-galong, PNP deputy chief for operations, said that the former was present during the top level meeting before the implementation of a big raid at the New Bilibid Prisons.

He said Marcelino was able to get vital information during the vital meeting as a representative of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Aaron B. Recuenco)