A former deep-penetration agent of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), currently an active Marine officer, was arrested on Thursday morning inside a shabu laboratory in Santa Cruz, Manila, where authorities found 64 kilos of shabu worth P320 million.
Colonel Ferdinand Marcelino was frisked together with Chinese Yan Yi Shou, 33, at 12:30 a.m. inside a large clandestine shabu laboratory at a townhouse along Felix Huertas and Batangas streets.
The operation of the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) was carried out on the strength of a search warrant issued by a Quezon City court.
Confiscated were various equipment and chemicals used in cooking shabu.
Chief Insp. Roque Merdeguia of PNP-AIDG said they were surprised in finding Marcelino inside the townhouse.
Marcelino denied he had anything to do with the manufacture of shabuor methamphetamine hydrochloride.
He said he was conducting surveillance, an alibi dismissed by the police.
It was learned that Yan was a PDEA interpreter when Marcelino was with PDEA in 2005.
PDEA Director General Arturo Cacdac Jr. was also surprised upon learning of the arrest of the colonel, saying he was “out of their radar” or watchlist.
Cacdac said as far he is concerned, Marcelino is still an active military official.
Marcelino was brought to PNP headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City for inquest proceedings.
Meanwhile, former PDEA head Dionisio Santiago, the one who recruited Marcelino to join PDEA, urged his former pupil to divulge his operation as deep-penetration agent.
Santiago said Marcelino once worked under the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission headed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.
There was a time, he added, when Marcelino himself conducted a briefing for the President.
Santiago said there were successful anti-drug operations in the past wherein Marcelino refused recognition, including operations conducted with agents of the National Bureau of
Investigation like the shabu laboratory in the town of Camiling in Tarlac where P3 billion worth of shabu was confiscated.
He also urged Marcelino to divulge his involvement in curtailing drug proliferation although this might jeopardize current major operations against illegal drugs.
“But he will endanger his life if he will divulge the major anti-drug operations,” the former chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said.
Also on Thursday, PDEA and PNP agents raided a warehouse of illegal drugs and arrested five persons in Valenzuela City (Metro Manila) also on Thursday.
They stormed the warehouse located at 1143 Bambi Street, General T. De Leon, around 1 a.m. that led to the seizure of 64 pieces of wooden drums weighing about 0 kilograms each and containing unknown substance presumed to be illegal drugs and ingredients in making high grade shabu,.
Arrested were Quian Kun Huang, 36-year-old Chinese, Melanie Martin, 27, Daisy Decio, 20, Marcos Bruno, 48, and Margarita Tomas, 53.
The raid was the second operation of PDEA and PNP in Valenzuela City this year.
On January 12, around P180 million worth of shabu was confiscated in Barangay Lawang Bato.
They will be charged for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
WITH IZA IGLESIAS AND ANTHONY VARGAS