DOJ drops drug case vs. ex-PDEA exec, Chinese asset

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Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 18) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the withdrawal of the drug case filed against a former head of a unit in the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

In a May 17 resolution obtained by CNN Philippines on Thursday, DOJ directed the Manila Prosecutor's Office to move to withdraw a criminal case filed against Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino and his Chinese companion Yan Yi Shuo.

The DOJ granted the suspects' petition for the department to review a September 2016 resolution that charged them with possession of illegal drugs under Sec. 11, Article 2 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

"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," said the resolution, signed by Justice Undersecretary Deo Marco.

 

This is the latest development in an illegal drugs saga involving Marcelino, former head of the PDEA'S Special Enforcement Service, and Yan, considered an asset in the illegal drugs bust that yielded P320 million (US$6.4 million) worth of shabu.

Marcelino and Yan were arrested during a drug raid of a suspected drug laboratory in Manila on January 21 last year.

The former PDEA executive denied links to the drug trade and insisted he was merely confirming an intelligence report.

Days after his arrest, Marcelino alleged he was "framed," saying his arrest and detention were "borne solely by Director General (Arturo) Cacdac," who was then PDEA chief.

After several months in detention, Marcelino and Yan were released in June 2016 for insufficiency of evidence.

But in September, the DOJ again slapped them with an illegal drugs case.

Read: The curious case of Lt. Col. Marcelino

Senator Leila De Lima, who is now detained by police on illegal drug charges, alleged in September that Marcelino's revived drug charges were a threat from certain groups to coerce him to testify against De Lima in her alleged involvement in the drug trade.

Marcelino denied De Lima's claims.

The two then turned themselves in to authorities on January this year after a warrant was issued for their arrest.

This is a developing story. Please refresh page for updates.

CNN Philippines' Anjo Alimario and Eimor Santos contributed to this report.