AFP wants custody of Marcelino
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - January 30, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The military yesterday requested custody over Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino from the Department of Justice.

The Philippine Navy said Marcelino is an active military officer subject to military law and should be confined in a military-controlled facility while under investigation for his supposed infractions for possible violations of the Articles of War.

“We need to ensure his safety while under detention during the pendency of the preliminary investigation,” Navy spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said.

Marcelino, along with a Chinese national, was arrested last week in a raid on a suspected shabu laboratory. Lawmen seized some 76 kilos of illegal drugs worth P383 million from the suspected laboratory in Binondo, Manila.

He is currently under custody of the police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) in Camp Bagong Diwa of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facing drug charges filed against him by fellow anti-narcotics authorities before the DOJ.

Marcelino served as former Director of the Special Enforcement Service of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the same outfit that arrested him last week.

Marcelino maintained he was on a mission order doing surveillance on the shabu laboratory when he was arrested.

The BJMP, meanwhile, said they were only providing “temporary safekeeping” for Marcelino.

BJMP spokesman Chief Insp. Xavier Solda said they merely accommodated the request of the AIDG to keep Marcelino under custody while the case is being heard before Senior Deputy Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva of the DOJ.

“The detention of Col. Marcelino is in the nature of temporary safekeeping only at Quezon City Jail Annex,” Solda said.

Arevalo said the Marines will ask for the transfer of Marcelino to their barracks detention under Executive Order 106, which set the guidelines for uniformed personnel facing charges.

Arevalo stressed Marcelino’s life could be in danger since he neutralized criminal syndicates and contributed to the prosecution and conviction of prominent individuals.

Earlier, former PDEA director Dionisio Santiago called on Marcelino’s colleagues in the military to keep an eye on him while under police detention, saying the arrested Marine officer will not stay long inside jail if he is left alone.

“To ensure his safety, the Navy leadership finds it appropriate to detain him at the Philippine Navy detention facility,” Arevalo said.

Arevalo said provisions of Section 3C, Executive Order 106 said servicemen facing criminal charges should be delivered to the nearest military authorities.

Arevalo said the Navy does not tolerate misdeeds among its personnel and the request for custody should not be misinterpreted.

“If anyone of us is accused of committing an offense, we will actively participate in ensuring that there will be an unhampered conduct of investigation. As such, we undertake to present the aforementioned Navy officer at anytime when so ordered by the Department of Justice, the Office of the City Prosecutors of Manila, or any court of law,” Arevalo said.

For the meantime, Arevalo said the Navy is affording Marcelino his constitutional rights. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe

ACIRC AREVALO ARTICLES OF WAR CAMP BAGONG DIWA OF THE BUREAU OF JAIL MANAGEMENT AND PENOLOGY CHIEF INSP DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DIONISIO SANTIAGO DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY EXECUTIVE ORDER MARCELINO PHILIPPINE NAVY
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