MANILA—While extremely grateful of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to drop the PHP380-million drug case against him and his Chinese companion Yam Yi Shou, Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino on Thursday said he will take extra efforts to secure himself and his family from people hard hit by his anti-illegal narcotics crusade.
In the same vein, he also expressed thanks to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Department of Justice (DOJ) under Secretary Vitaliano Aquirre for their trust in him and expediting the review of the case against him.
Marcelino also expressed willingness to comply with any tasks that can be ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte in the ongoing anti-narcotics campaign.
In a 13-page resolution dated May 17, the DOJ affirmed the May 23, 2016 resolution by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva dropping all charges against Marcelino and Yan for insufficiency of evidence presented by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The two were charged for violating Section 11 (possession of dangerous drugs), Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in connection with their arrest and the recovery of PHP380 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu” in an apartment in Sta. Cruz, Manila last Jan. 21, 2016.
The same DOJ resolution also reversed its Sept. 15, 2016 ruling which stated that the two suspects should be prosecuted for violation of Section 11 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act for possession of illegal drugs.
”The resolution dated September 15, 2016 of Assistant Prosecutor Alexander Q. Suarez, as approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon, is hereby reversed and set aside, and the resolution dated May 23, 2016 of Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva is hereby affirmed,” the resolution signed by DOJ Undersecretary Deo Marco stated.
“A show of liberality is within the competence of the Secretary of Justice,” the resolution added.
Aside from echoing the May 2016 resolution and the ruling of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, the DOJ took note of the January 2017 certification issued by the AFP through Brig. Gen. Ronald C. Villanueva and the 2016 certification of then National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Virgilio Mendez.
Both certifications recognized Marcelino’s active participation in anti-drug operations.
“Lt. Col. Marcelino and Yan Yi Shou have sufficiently proven that they were in performance of a lawful duty when they were chanced upon by the PNP and PDEA joint team, thereby negating the evidence of the complainants-appellees purportedly establishing that they are probably involved in the manufacture of illegal drugs, conspiracy in the manufacture thereof, or illegal possession of the same,” the DOJ stated.