WATCH | Prosecutors move to drop drug raps vs Marine colonel Marcelino, asset

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File photo of Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino being booked after his arrest.

MANILA, Philippines –(UPDATE – 1:37 p.m.) Prosecutors on Thursday formally sought the withdrawal of drug charges filed against Marine colonel Ferdinand Marcelino and Chinese national Yan Yi Shou.

The move was in compliance with a Department of Justice resolution signed by Undersecretary Deo Marco on behalf of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II that affirmed the May 23, 2016 resolution of Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva and reversed that of Assistant Prosecutor Alexander Suarez as approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Fadullon dated September 15 last year.

Chief Public Attorney Persida Acosta, who represents Marcelino, said her office also filed a manifestation concurring with the prosecution’s motion and is expecting a release order to be issued within the day for the officer, who is detained at the custodial center of Camp Aguinaldo.

The DOJ resolution addressed the petition for review filed by Marcelino and Yan against the Suarez resolution, which, while dropping the complaint of conspiring to manufacture narcotics against the two, recommended they be charged with possession instead. It also denied their request to be released from detention.

Marcelino, who had been detailed to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and Yan, who was a PDEA asset, were arrested in January 2016 during a raid in Manila. Authorities said the two were in possession of P380 million worth of crystal meth or shabu.

However, Marcelino maintained he was innocent and that he was on an intelligence mission with Yan.

The DOJ resolution said Marcelino and Yan “have sufficiently proven that they were in performance of a lawful duty when they were chanced upon by the PNP (Philippine National Police) and PDEA joint team, thereby negating the evidence of the complainants-appellees purportedly establishing that they are probably involved in the manufacture of illegal drugs, conspiracy in the manufacture thereof, or illegal possession of the same.”

The last page of the DOJ resolution ordering the withdrawal of charges against Lt Col Ferdinand Marcelino and Yan Yi Shou. (photo by JV Arcena, News5)

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