DOJ wants Marcelino out of Camp Bagong Diwa
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - February 1, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) wants detained Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino out of Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City while facing preliminary investigation on drug charges.

In a three-page letter to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology last Friday, investigating Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva cited concerns over the safety and security of the detained Marine officer as the reason for the proposed transfer.

The prosecutor agreed with the concern raised by Marcelino’s lawyer, Dennis Manalo, that the extension of the Quezon City Jail in the Taguig facility could pose risks to the detainee, considering that he “has caused the detention of many people involved in illegal drugs, some of whom are currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa.”

Villanueva proposed that Marcelino and his fellow drug suspect, Yan Yi Shuo, be transferred to the National Bureau of Investigation or that Marcelino be put under the custody of the Philippine Navy.

The prosecutor also furnished to the BJMP the letters of the Navy Vice Admiral Caesar Taccad signifying their intention that Marcelino be detained at the Navy detention facility in Fort Bonifacio, also in Taguig City.

Last week, Marcelino denied the charges of conspiracy in the manufacture and possession of illegal drugs under Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) and submitted his counter-affidavit.

Marcelino insisted he was in the site for a covert operation as a member of Armed Forces of the Philippines Intelligence Service.

Authorities said Marcelino and Yan were found inside the storage facility where they seized 64 kilos of suspected shabu with a street value of P256 million. The former PDEA official was found sitting on a couch when the agents arrived.

The DOJ will continue hearing the case tomorrow for the PNP-AIDG to file its reply.

An initial report prepared by the PNP Crime Laboratory stated that the samples submitted by the PNP-AIDG tested positive for shabu. Its experts have yet to determine if the shabu is of high quality.

As for allegations that Marcelino profited from the illegal drug trade, one of his mistahs, Maj. Vonne Villanueva, said Marcelino is willing to sign a waiver that would allow the Anti-Money Laundering Council to scrutinize his financial dealings, but added that his accusers at the PNP-AIDG and the PDEA should do the same.

Villanueva and Marcelino belong to the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1994. – With Non Alquitran, Jaime Laude

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COUNCIL ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES INTELLIGENCE SERVICE BUREAU OF JAIL MANAGEMENT AND PENOLOGY CAMP BAGONG DIWA CRIME LABORATORY DENNIS MANALO DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DRUGS ACT FERDINAND MARCELINO MARCELINO TAGUIG CITY
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