MANILA —The Philippine Navy (PN)asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to place Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino, who was implicated in Php 320-million drug bust, under the navy’s custody to ensure the marine officer’s safety.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, PN spokeperson, said the request was done to ensure Marcelino’s safety while under detention during the pendency of the preliminary investigation.

“As a former Director of the Special Enforcement Division where neutralized criminal syndicates and contributed to the prosecution and conviction of prominent individuals, his life is in peril. To ensure his safety, the Navy leadership finds it appropriate to detain him at a Philippine Navy detention facility,” he added.

“Since Lt. Col. Marcelino is in the active service, he is subject to military law. Thus, we need to place him under confinement at our detention facility while facing investigation before a body tasked to determine his liability under the Articles of War,” Arevalo stressed.

The PN spokesperson said that in making the request, the navy relied on the provisions of Section 3c, Executive Order Number 106, series of 1937, which mandates that Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel arrested by the police or other law enforcement agencies for alleged commission of a crime should deliver the offender to the nearest AFP authorities.

“We reiterate that the Philippine Navy does not tolerate misdeeds among its personnel. If anyone of us is accused of committing an offense, we will actively participate in ensuring that there will be an unhampered conduct of investigation. As such, we undertake to present the aforementioned Navy Officer at anytime when so ordered by the Department of Justice, the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila, or any court of law,” he added.

“That said, we are affording to him the constitutional guarantee to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proven following due process that he is likewise entitled to,” Arevalo pointed out.

Marcelino and 33-year-old Chinese national Yan Yi Shou were arrested by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency agents at Felix Huertas corner Batangas Streets in Sta. Cruz, Manila last Jan. 21.

Around 64 kilograms of “shabu” worth Php320 million were seized. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA/