The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday dismissed the drug charges against Marine Col. Ferdinand Marcelino.
In a 16-page resolution filed, signed and approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva, the DOJ found insufficient evidence to indict Marcelino in court.
The Justice department argued that there is no probable cause to file charges against Marcelino for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Law and of the gun ban imposed by the Comelec and for illegal possession of firearms.
It said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Anti-Illegal Drugs Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) failed to present enough evidence against Marcelino and Van Vi Shou, a Chinese.
The complainants’ case will not sustain “a conviction during the trial on the merits of the case.”
In particular, the DOJ dropped the illegal drugs charges against Marcelino and Van for the manufacture and conspiracy to manufacture of drugs.
Its resolution recommended the issuance of a release order for both respondents.
The two were arrested on January 21 in Santa Cruz, Manila, in what authorities called a clandestine shabu laboratory.
Marcelino and Van claimed that they were at the townhouse for a legitimate anti-drug operation.
“Before and after the issuance of a search warrant to conduct a search at the premises of Celadon Residences.. the 2 respondents were never seen during the casing and surveillance of the premises” and that the search warrant was precisely for different names – Lo Chi, Atong Lee, and a certain Chu.
The DOJ gave credence to a claim of Marcelino that he was there for a legitimate anti-drug operation.
It noted Marcelino’s evidence an affidavit showing that PDEA Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Randy Pedroso confirmed that the Marine colonel coordinated with him regarding his surveillance activity.
Pedroso cited their exchange of text messages on the matter.
On allegation that Marcelino and Van possessed illegal drugs, the DOJ argued “that is only their presumption based on the presence of respondents at the scene of the crime which is not supported by independent evidence to show that respondents have prior actual knowledge that the house is a drug laboratory and contained so much drugs.”