Controversial Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino along with a suspected Chinese drug lord has asked the Manila regional trial court (RTC) to take a second look at the criminal charges filed against them following a major drug bust a year ago.
Represented by public defenders from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), Marcelino and Yan Yi Shou insisted that the charges of illegal possession of dangerous drugs filed against them has no basis.
The two were charged for violating Section 11 (possession of dangerous drugs), Article II of Republic Act 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” in an apartment in Sta. Cruz, Manila a year ago.
The two argued that Judge Daniel Fernandez of Manila RTC Branch 49 erred in when it held that they failed to give a good and credible account of their presence in the premises where they were arrested and added that the Manila RTC committed a mistake in ruling that there was conspiracy between them.
“The Honorable Court failed to consider that the presence of accused Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino was in fulfillment of his duty as a military intelligence officer,” the motion stated.
Marcelino’s co-accused surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday, several hours after the marine officer surrendered to the AFP Provost Marshall in Camp Aguinaldo.
Aguirre said Yan Yi Shou alias Randy turned himself to the NBI Special Task Force headed by head agent Moises Tamayo.
“We are proud to announce that Yan Yi Shou is now under the custody of the NBI. This is a welcome development insofar as our pursuit of this case is concerned,” Justice chief Vitaliano Aguirre said.“As we have said before we will be relentless in this fight,” he added.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) on Tuesday earlier asked the Regional Trial Court of Manila Branch 49 to issue hold departure orders against them to prevent them from leaving the country and avoid prosecution.
Marcelino and Yan were apprehended by a team from the Philippine National Police-Anti Illegal Drugs Group and the Philippine Drug Enforcement and subsequently charged before the DoJ.
The Marine officer denied the charges and said he was in the apartment for a covert surveillance operation as a member of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and submitted a certification from the Philippine Army Intelligence Group showing that he is sharing information on the alleged involvement of Army personnel in the illegal drugs trade from September to December last year.
Marcelino said the root cause of his arrest was due to then Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director Arturo Cacdac who was “historically irate” at his continued involvement in the anti-drug campaign of the government.
Last June, the DoJ through Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva dismissed all the charges against Marcelino and Yan for insufficiency of evidence, prompting the PNP-AIDG and PDEA to file a motion for reconsideration.