A Quezon City court has granted bail to Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino, a former official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), who was accused of violating several provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
In a 29-page resolution, Lyn Ebora-Cacha, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 82 presiding judge, on Wednesday said there was not enough evidence to deny Marcelino’s request for bail.
“The court finds no strong evidence against Lt. Col. Marcelino for several reasons. The petitioner Marcelino was found on the ground floor and there was no illegal drugs confiscated in his possession or in his immediate vicinity,” the resolution read.
Cacha directed Marcelino to surrender his passport, and that a hold departure order (HDO) be issued against him.
Moreover, the former PDEA official was also directed to execute an undertaking of his court appearance before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The presiding judge also ordered Marcelino to post a surety bond of P1 million, and to inform the court within three days about any change in his address.
The court junked the bail plea of Marcelino’s co-accused, Yan Yin Shou alias “Randy,” saying “the court finds strong evidence to deny bail applied for.”
Marcelino and Shou were caught during a raid conducted by the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) and PDEA in a townhouse that turned out to be clandestine shabu laboratory in Manila’s Santa Cruz district last January 19.
In reviewing the bail petitions of the accused last February, the court said that as an intelligence officer, Marcelino was getting information from “Randy,” a former drug informant during the time of Marcelino when he was chief of the Special Enforcement Service (SES) and that he gave information to Marcelino about drug syndicates.
Meanwhile, the court stated, “There was no overt act on [Marcelino’s] part that would show knowledge or control over any substance in the house.”
“His mere presence at the house does not by itself make petitioner Marcelino liable as such is merely circumstantial which is yet to be connected to the crime,” it said.
The court added that Marcelino’s name did not even appear in the inventory of evidence as well as with photographs taken during the inventory.
“All in all, the circumstances presented by the prosecution lack the strength needed to show that the state has the right to completely deprive petitioner Marcelino of his provisional liberty pending hearing of the case once it is filed,” it said.
Marcelino is expected to be released on Wednesday while his case for violation of RA 9165 is pending before the Department of Justice.