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Marcelino drug case dismissed for 2nd time

For the second time, the Department of Justice (DoJ) decided to dismiss the drug case against former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) official Marine Lieutenant Colonel Ferdinand Marcelino and his Chinese co-accused Yan Yi Shou.

In a 13-page resolution, the DoJ dismissed the case of possession of illegal drugs under Section 11, Article 11 of Republic Act 9165, also known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, filed against Marcelino and Yan before Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 49.

The case stemmed from the duo’s arrest by PDEA operatives on January 21, 2016 in an abandoned shabu laboratory at the Celadon Residences in Sta. Cruz, Manila, where authorities seized 76,697.7 grams of shabu worth over P380 million.

“Correspondingly, the City Prosecutor of Manila is directed to move for the withdrawal of the Information in Criminal Case No. 16328515,” read the resolution dated May 17, signed by Justice Undersecretary Deo Marco.

Once the case is withdrawn, Marcelino will be released from the Custodial Center of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, while Yan will be freed from detention at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) where he is being held.

In the resolution, the DoJ accepted the defense of Marcelino that he was still actively engaged in anti-illegal drug operations when he got arrested by operatives of the PDEA.

Marcelino presented certifications from the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) chief Brig.Gen. Ronald Villanueva and retired NBI Director Virgilio Mendez Jr. which showed he was still engaged in operations providing intelligence regarding illegal drugs.

“With the foregoing certifications, the same gives credence to the defense espoused by the Accused-Appelant Marcelino that he continued to be active in anti-drugs operations,” the resolution pointed out.

Based on the certifications presented, the DoJ pointed out “they were there to verify raw information that the place may have dangerous drugs.”

“Also, Accused-Appelants cannot be said to have dominion over the place and substance as they are not the manufacturers or owners thereof,” said DoJ which noted that surveillance operations conducted by the PDEA in the area showed that Marcelino and Shou were never present in the Celadon Residences prior the raid.

“Further, evidence fails to establish that the control of the dangerous drugs and disposal of the same were under the behest of herein accused-appelants. The aspect of dominion and control over the place where the dangerous drugs were found was not sufficiently established by the complainants,” it added. (JEFFREY G. DAMICOG)