The Department of Justice denies pressuring Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino to testify against Senator Leila De Lima by reinstating his drugs case.
In a resolution issued on September 15, DOJ reversed its previous resolution and ordered the filing of charges against Marcelino for posession of illegal drugs.
According to undersecretary Erickson Balmes, the office of Justice Seretary Vitaliano Aguirre has nothing to do with it.
“Ni hindi nga po namin nababasa ‘yang resolusyon na yan. ‘Yan po ay nilabas na wala pong knowledge ang (DOJ) kasi, procedurally, hindi naman po sa level ni Secretary Aguirre pa iyan kaya yung sinasabi na panggigipit na anggulo ay wala pong katotohanan,” Usec. Balmes said in a phone interview.
(We haven’t even read that resolution. That was released without the knowledge of (DOJ) because, procedurally, it is not within the level of Sec. Aguirre. That’s why what they are saying is not true regarding the angle of pressuring.)
He says De Lima’s allegation that Marcelino is being coerced is a result if a wild imagination.
He points out that Aguirre already said Marcelino’s case should be reviewed long before witnesses implicated De Lima in illegal drugs trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.
“Ang sabi lang po niya, ‘it is worth revisiting.’ Pero kung matitingnan po ninyo noong mga panahong ‘yun, wala pa naman pong mga ganitong inquiry,” Balmes said.
(He only said, ‘it’s worth revisiting.’ But if you’ll look into it, during that time, there were still no inquiries like that.)
Balmes adds that Marcelino can still appeal his case before the Office of the Secretary.
Marcelino was charged after he was arrested inside a townhouse in Sta Cruz, Manila last January.
Authorities recovered more than 70 kilos of shabu from the house which is allegedly being used as a clandestine shabu laboratory. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue