MANILA — Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino is willing to testify against former Justice Secretary and detained Senator Leila De Lima on the drug charges filed against her by the Department of Justice.
This was bared by Public Attorneys Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta, Marcelino’s legal counsel.
”Anytime sabi niya, he can testify. Pero kung ano ang itetestify niya, hindi natin alam. Abangan na lang natin ang mangyayari if the government will utilize him in Bilibid drug case,” Acosta told reporters during the press conference where she announced the DOJ junked the drug charges against Marcelino and his Chinese cohort Yan Yi Shou.
Earlier, Marcelino agreed to testify on the congressional inquiry on the drug proliferation inside the national penitentiary and against De Lima but Congress has decided to forego with his testimony and decided to refer the matter to the House Committee on Public Safety.
De Lima, who is now detained at the PNP custodial center, argued that the allegations against her do not actually constitute sale and trading of illegal drugs and liability of government officials under Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act), but rather only direct bribery.
Separate cases for three counts of drug trafficking were filed against De Lima before the Muntinlupa RTC which were assigned to three different courts.
The cases for sale and trading of illegal drugs and liability of government officials under Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act) were assigned to RTC Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero, Branch 205 Judge Amelia Fabros-Corpuz and Branch 206 Judge Patria Manalastas-De Leon.
The first case in Branch 204 includes De Lima, Dayan and Ragos.
De Lima was joined by her nephew Jose Adrian Dera in the second case in Branch 205.
The third case in Branch 206 was against De Lima, Dera, Dayan, former BuCor chief Franklin Bucayu, his alleged bagman Wilfredo Elli, high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian, and De Lima’s former bodyguard Jonel Sanchez. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA – northboundasia.com