MARINE Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino, facing drug-related charges, has accused embattled Senator Leila de Lima of trying to use him to gain public sympathy, chewing her out for releasing a transcript of his supposed conversation with a mistah.
“On the aspect that she could have told me but she didn’t, I mean she tried to use me,” Marcelino, who stressed he was willing to testify against De Lima, said in an ANC television interview.
“Nobody pressured or coerced me to speak against Senator De Lima. As a matter of fact, in her press conferences showing those privilege exchanges of communication between me and my classmates, I did not give any consent to her, neither did she approach or call me to ask permission if she can show it to the media that’s why I was surprised,” Marcelino said.
De Lima claimed Marcelino was asked by her detractors to testify against her in relation to her alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison during her term as Justice secretary.
De Lima added a “common acquaintance” had forwarded to her messages from Marcelino dated July 19, 2016 and Sept. 5, 2016 which thanked the lady senator for her help when he was in prison and claiming there were people after his life.
Director Albert Ignatius Ferro, OIC of the PNP anti-illegal drugs group, however, confirmed that then Justice secretary De Lima visited Marcelino on March 27 this year at the PNP Custodial Center, when the latter was arrested on January 21 during a raid in a shabu laboratory in Sta. Cruz, Manila -- claiming he was performing surveillance work.
Marcelino, who maintained he has a “very professional” relationship with De Lima, said he only explained his case to De Lima after he was incarcerated due to alleged drug involvement.
“If I will be summoned on (sic) any forum at the Senate or Congress or any inquiry I am only on the side of truth,” he added.
De Lima was tagged by President Duterte as the highest government official in the illegal drug matrix inside the National Bilibid Prison which she operated along with his long time driver-bodyguard Ronnie Palisoc Dayan.
Duterte said Dayan collected drug money for De Lima inside the national penitentiary, now a subject of a House investigation with all witnesses linking her to the illegal drug trade.
Duterte reiterated that witnesses and evidence cannot be “orchestrated” just to single her out to the illegal drug trade, following her claims the government is pressuring her associates to testify against her.
“You cannot do that wherein many would testify against you. You cannot orchestrate a testimony. These would all clash with each other if it’s (sic) fabricated.”
De Lima accused the Duterte administration of increasing pressure and intimidation on her known associates as well as on other convicts at the New Bilibid Prison to boost their allegations she was a protector of illegal drug operations at the NBP when she was Justice secretary.
Marcelino said he will support the government in its fight against illegal drugs, adding “I risked my life including my family and career for this war.”
His lawyer, Public Attorney’s Office Chief Persida Acosta, said they would be working hard to reverse the charges against Marcelino.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.