The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is not giving up its case against Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino and his co-accused in the drug charges slapped on them.
Outgoing PDEA chief, Arturo Cacdac Jr., said over the weekend that the PDEA and the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) will surely file a motion for reconsideration (MR) at the Department of Justice (DOJ) so that the drug charges the two law-enforcement agencies slapped on Marcelino and Chinese national Yan Yi Shou will continue until they are proven guilty by the court.
Cacdac said the “PDEA and PNP-AIDG will exhaust all legal remedies, [including]the filing of Motion for Reconsideration.”
The two law-enforcement agencies “remain hopeful that the court will take a second look at the facts of the case and the evidence submitted for its consideration, to set aside the DOJ’s dismissal,” he said.
“We will not allow setbacks like this to jeopardize our thrusts in bringing drug offenders to justice,” he added.
Cacdac has until June 30 to serve as PDEA chief.
The DOJ asserted in its 15-page resolution, that the drug charges on Marcelino and Yan were dismissed because “After an assiduous evaluation of the evidence presented by both parties, [the DOJ]finds the evidence so far presented by the PNP and PDEA [was]insufficient of the required evidence to sustain a conviction during the trial on the merits of the case.”
Marcelino, former intelligence officer of the PDEA, and Shou were arrested during a drug raid last January 21 at a house in Sampaloc, Manila where over P380-million worth of shabu were confiscated.
PDEA and PNP-AIDG served a warrant when they arrested the two.
The DOJ resolution written by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva found out that the search warrant PDEA and PNP-AIDG agaents brought with them was intended for a certain Lo Chi aka “Tanda,” Atong Lee aka “Atong,” and a certain Chu.
The names of Marcelino and Shou were not included in the warrant.
When the PDEA and PNP-AIDG conducted the raid, Marcelino and Shou were found staying not on the exact target area.
Marcelino was sitting on a couch on the ground floor of the house, while Shou was seen on the second floor supposedly arranging plastic trays containing ‘shabu.’
Another loophole in the charges filed by PDEA and PNP-AIDG discovered by the DOJ was the sworn statements they submitted to the DOJ have no names of the PDEA or PNP-AIDG people who actually saw Shou supposedly arranging the plastic trays with ‘shabu.’
“The PNP and PDEA alleges that respondents had possession of the illegal drugs but that is only their presumption based on the presence of the respondents at the scene of the crime which as of this writing is not supported by any independent evidence,” the DOJ resolution further pointed out.
Even Shou’s possession of the key to the house is not enough to charge them in court, the DOJ also said.
In short, DOJ stressed the charges lodged by the PDEA and PNP-AIDG against Marcelino and Shou have no “sufficient evidence.”
However, Cacdac asserted that both the PDEA and PNP-AIDG were “saddened” by DOJ’s decision.
“On the basis of the testimonial and documentary evidence presented, it is undeniable that PDEA and the PNP-AIDG have successfully discharged their duty to submit strong evidence of guilt on the part of Marcelino and Shou,” Cacdac strongly argued.
“We have no doubt that PDEA and PNP-AIDG operatives have done their job well and exercised regularity in the performance of their duties as mandated by law,” he added.
NELSON S. BADILLA