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DOJ reverses ruling on Marcelino drug case

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) found Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino and a Chinese national guilty for possession of illegal drugs, reversing its previous resolution dismissing the charges against them.

Assistant State Prosecutor Alexander Suarez said Marcelino and Yan Yi Shuo, alias Randy, should stand trial for possession of shabu worth P380 million.

Marcelino and Yan were arrested by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) during a raid in a townhouse in Sta. Cruz, Manila on Jan. 21.

“On the basis of their sworn statements and the evidence presented, there is reasonable ground to believe that the offense charged has been committed and the accused are probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial,” Suarez said in the two-page resolution.

He said information of the charges of illegal drugs is being filed with the approval of Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.

On June 21, Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva recommended the dismissal of the case for insufficiency of evidence.

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Marcelino and Yan were arrested shortly after PDEA agents raided the townhouse.

During the preliminary investigation, Marcelino claimed he was working undercover conducting a surveillance operation of the suspected drug den when he was arrested.

Yan was supposedly a former asset of the PDEA, where Marcelino worked as chief of a special unit.

Marcelino served as former director of the Special Enforcement Service of the PDEA, the same outfit that arrested him in Manila.

The Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) welcomed the reversal of the DOJ ruling.

Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola, former chief of AIDG, said the DOJ resolution comes as a relief for the lawmen going after drug offenders.

“Whoever they are, even active members of the PNP and the Armed Forces and the government, as long as you are involved in drugs, they should be caught,” he said.

Chief Insp. Roque Merdegia, former chief of the AIDG legal and investigation unit, said they are hoping the Manila court will soon issue warrants of arrest against the two.

“In a matter of time we are just waiting for the issuance of warrant of arrest by the court and after that they are considered wanted,” Merdegia said. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe

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