Marcelino denies profiting from illegal drugs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2016 01:10 PM | Updated as of Jan 31 2016 06:58 PM

MANILA - The camp of Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino, a former drug buster arrested inside a narcotics laboratory in Manila last week, denied Sunday that he gained profit from illegal drugs trade.

This after the police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) claimed that 13 bank deposit slips with amounts totaling P2.25 million were found inside a bag seized from Marcelino during his arrest in Santa Cruz district.

A Philippine Star report quoted AIDG spokesman Chief Inspector Roque Merdegia saying that bank slips under Marcelino's name showed deposit transactions of P500,000 on May 26, P200,000 on June 25 and P300,000 on July 31, all in 2014. Another deposit slip indicated a P30,000 transaction in March 4, 2015, the report said.

Authorities did not identify the depository bank.

The police anti-drug unit has requested the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to conduct a complete financial investigation on Marcelino to determine if he is involved in money-laundering activities.

In a statement on Sunday, Marcelino's spokesperson, Major Vonne Villanueva said: "My mistah, Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino, categorically denies the insinuations by PNP-AIDG that he is profiting from illegal drugs trade."

"The bank transactions that PNP-AIDG presented were meant to discredit Lt. Col. Marcelino," he added.

Villanueva said the deposit slips presented by AIDF are part of Marcelino's personal financial records and confidential operational fund records when he was still working for Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP).

Villanueva, however, refrained from discussing details of the bank transactions "due to its sensitive nature and the fact that they have not filed another case against him related to these bank deposits."

He also said Marcelino is willing to sign a waiver for the AMLC to examine his bank accounts only if his accusers will do the same.

Marcelino, former chief of the Special Enforcement Service (SES) of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), has insisted that he was acting on a mission order when anti-drug operatives arrested him along with a Chinese informant.

The former drug buster, who is now a superintendent at a Naval Officer Candidate School in Zambales, said he coordinated with the PDEA before going to the laboratory in his own capacity. He said his arrest was ordered by PDEA Director General Arturo Cacdac, Jr., who had been "irate" at his continued involvement in the anti-drug campaign of the government.

(READ: Frame up? Lawyer bares details of Marcelino's arrest)

Marcelino is currently detained at the Quezon City Jail annex in Camp Bagong Diwa.

The Navy has requested custody of Marcelino, saying he should be transferred to a navy detention facility since he is still in active service and subject to military law.

(READ: Nothing unusual in Marcelino's drug intel gathering - Navy)