MANILA - Public Attorney's Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta denied allegations that there was a "deal" in the release of Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino, and that he is out to pin down Senator Leila de Lima.
"Mali po 'yung konteksto na kinakalat ng ibang sektor na para daw mag-testify laban kina Sec. De Lima," she told DZMM on Sunday.
Rueda-Acosta pointed out that Marcelino already wanted to testify in the Congressional hearings on the Bilibid drug trade.
"Noon pong naghi-hearing ng Bilibid drug trade, laya 'yan e. Pero siya mismo ang gumawa at nag-execute ng sarili niyang affidavit," she said.
"Humihingi nga ho siya ng executive session e hindi naman siya pinayagan mag-testify. Ang sabi ng Committee on Justice doon ka sa Committee on Drugs mag-testify," she added.
The lawyer reiterated that her client is innocent of the accusations hurled against him and that Marcelino was just set up.
"Kitang-kitang a la Coco Martin, 'Probinsiyano' 'yung ginawa dito kay Marcelino e," she said.
"Wala pong deal, ano 'yan 'Deal or No Deal' ni Kris Aquino? Talagang due na hong lumabas 'yan, walang kasalanan 'yung tao," she added.
Marcelino had already said he is willing to participate in Congressional probes in case he gets a subpoena. Right now, Rueda-Acosta said Marcelino is back on duty.
De Lima told reporters last Friday that she believes Marcelino was freed so he can testify against her. She even called the Justice Department's decision to drop the drug charges "brazen."
"A deal has been struck that he (Marcelino) testify against me. Too bad, I thought he was a man of honor, of integrity," De Lima said.