MARINE Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino and his alleged Chinese associate Yan Yi Shou have been transferred from Camp Crame in Quezon City to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City (Metro Manila).
The two were arrested in an anti-illegal drug raid in Santa Cruz, Manila, on January 22. They yielded 64 kilograms of high-grade shabu worth P320 million.
The suspects’ convoy arrived at the Camp Bagong Diwa at about 2:15 p.m. on Friday.
Clad in orange detainee shirt, Marcelino–a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1994–raised his handcuffed arms as he entered the Quezon City jail annex compound. He refused to answer media queries.
Before leaving Camp Crame, he had to take medicines for high blood pressure after he went on hunger strike for three days. Attending physicians from the Philippine National Police Health Service said he was in good condition and was “fit to travel.”
Senior Supt. Antonio Gardiola Jr., director of Philippine National Police-Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG), said there is an existing memorandum of agreement between the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to detain drugs suspects in Camp Bagong Diwa without court order.
Marcelino’s legal counsel, Dennis Manalo, questioned his client’s transfer to Camp Bagong Diwa because Marcelino and the PNP-AIDG earlier signed an agreement to detain him at the PNP Custodial Center, as the military officer requested in a motion filed with Department of Justice (DOJ) Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva.
Manalo said they are still studying their next legal move over the supposed violation.
In a statement, Philippine Navy spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo requested that Marcelino be placed under their custody for his safety.
“As a former Director of the Special Enforcement [Service of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency] where [he]neutralized criminal syndicates and contributed to the prosecution and conviction of prominent individuals, his life is in peril,” Arevalo said.
Marcelino and Yan are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. They will stay in Camp Bagong Diwa during the pendency of preliminary investigation.
WITH ANTHONY VARGAS