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Manila court hears Marcelino’s plea

The Manila regional trial court (RTC) is set to hear starting at 9:30 a.m. today the plea of Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino to dismiss the drug case filed against him by the Department of Justice (DoJ) last week.

Also to be heard are the motion of Marcelino and his co-accused Yan Yi Shou to defer the issuance of arrest order and arraignment. Both are represented by Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) headed by Persida Rueda Acosta.

Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, and Assistant State Prosecutor Alexander Suarez will defend the DoJ’s action.

PAO had manifested that there was no probable cause to indict Marcelino and Yan and the issuance of the arrest warrant “would have dire consequences upon them who will again be deprived of their liberty despite the weakness of the evidence against them.”

In their defense, Marcelino and Yan said their arrest in a shabu facility in Sta. Cruz, Manila last January 21 was illegal because they were conducting an intelligence operation when apprehended.

They pointed out that they were performing their lawful duties at the time of their arrest. Seized from the facility were 77 kilos of shabu.

In May this year, the DoJ had dismissed the charges of conspiracy in manufacture and possession of illegal drugs under Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) against Marcelino and Yan.

But the DoJ partially granted the appeal of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and ordered the filing of possession of dangerous drugs against the two. (REY G. PANALIGAN)

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