De Lima raises concerns over release of ex-narc Marcelino

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2017 04:43 PM | Updated as of May 19 2017 09:08 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Sen. Leila de Lima on Friday expressed concern over the release of former anti-drug agent Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino, claiming that a deal has been struck so that he could testify against her. 

De Lima made the comment as she attended a hearing at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court the disobedience to summons case filed against her by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Representatives Rey Umali and Rodolfo Fariñas.

"'Di ba obvious 'yan. I need not say it, it's too obvious. And it's too brazen. Sana nag-iisip na po ang mga tao. Masyado na po yan. That's so brazen. Pagkatapos ma-dismiss ang case against him (Marcelino), magtetestify naman daw against me? So, do I have to explain that? Do I have to say it?" De Lima told reporters.

In a separate handwritten note released to the media, De Lima further detailed her allegations that Marcelino was pressured to speak against her.

"I am not sure about the kind of pressure bearing upon Marcelino now," she said of the former top anti-drug operative.

"I think Marcelino still has honor, and whatever lies he is forced to tell are not easy for him to declare, if not for some overwhelming pressure or threat coming from the tyrant and his minions," she added. 

De Lima blasted the Duterte administration and alleged that the government was behind efforts to force Marcelino to pin her down.
 
"This regime of the worst and dumbest is already famous for turning men of integrity against their sworn duties and word of honor, and making the stupidest and most incompetent 'honorables', with their titles and positions," she said.

Marcelino was released Thursday after the Department of Justice issued a resolution ordering the dismissal of charges that anti-drug operatives filed against him and and his Chinese asset Yan Yi Shou. The two were arrested in a raid in an apartment in Sta. Cruz, Manila, on Jan. 21, 2016.

The two insisted then that they were deep in an intelligence operation.

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta said the
Manila Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion for the withdrawal of the criminal information against Marcelino and Yan after the DOJ dismissed the case against them. 

Marcelino had previously denied being pressured to pin down De Lima on drug charges against her. De Lima was arrested in February after high-profile inmates accused her of taking drug money from illicit operations at the national penitentiary during her time as Justice Secretary. 

De Lima has repeatedly dismissed allegations as efforts to taint her name being among President Duterte's most vocal critics.