MANILA - For the second time, the Department of Justice on Wednesday flip-flopped on the case of Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino and withdrew the drug charges against him in connection with his arrest during a drug raid last year.
Marcelino and his Chinese informant have claimed they were doing covert operations for the military when the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chanced upon them at a warehouse, where P320 million worth of shabu was confiscated in January 2016.
The DOJ in May 2016 dismissed Marcelino's case, only to reverse its findings in September after finding probable cause to charge the officer and his co-accused, Chinese national Yan Yi Shou.
In a resolution promulgated Wednesday, the DOJ affirmed its own May 2016 findings, overturning the indictment of Marcelino and Shou.
The DOJ said the accused have sufficiently proven they were in the performance of lawful duty when arrested by PDEA agents and policemen.
Certification from the Philippine Army and National Bureau of Investigation supported Marcelino's defense that he was in anti-drugs operations, the DOJ resolution said.
The justice department added that Marcelino's absence in the facility before and after the application of search warrant bolsters assumption he had no control over it.
Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Rueda Acosta has filed a motion seeking Marcelino's immediate release from detention.
-- With a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News