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Lt. Col. Marcelino yields to AFP provost marshall as DOJ asks court for HDO

TV5 screenshot shows Lt. Col. Marcelino at his arrest by drug raiders in Manila on Jan. 21, 2016.
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - (UPDATE 5:41 P.M) The Department of Justice filed Tuesday an urgent motion for the issuance of a hold departure order by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 49 against Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino, tagging him a flight risk a week after his arrest on a drug case was ordered by the court. The military, however, said Marcelino has surrendered to the provost marshall and the AFP is seeking custody of the active-duty Marine lieutenant colonel.

The DOJ also wants the court to issue an HDO immediately on Marcelino and his co-accused, the Chinese interpreter Yan Yi Shuo alias Randy. The two men were arrested during a raid on a shabu warehouse in Manila last year, but Marcelino claimed he was there as part of intelligence operations he had been doing for the military.

In a motion, the DOJ prosecution team asked the court to include Marcelino and Yan Yi Shuo on the list of the Bureau of Immigration, stressing the need to prevent flight by the two accused in a drug case. 

Last Dec. 22, the Manila court issued an arrest order against Marcelino and Yan. 

The two men have not been arrested and arraigned until press time. This has fanned the prosecution's apprehension that the accused might leave the country to escape being tried.

The prosecutors told the court that if the two men are allowed to leave the Philippines, they are certain the duo will not return and submit themselves to the court's jurisdiction.

Surrender to military provost martial

Hours after the DOJ made known its apprehensions, however, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the Marine Lieutenant Colonel had surrendered to the military's Provost Marshal.

The military will seek custody of Marcelino since he is an active duty officer, said Colonel Edgard Arevalo, deputy of the Civil Relations Service (CRS).

Marcelino was accompanied by his sister as he surrendered to the Provost Marshal around noontime Tuesday.

“We are currently processing all the necessary requirements such as fingerprinting, mugshots anf physical examination, among others,” Arevalo said.

“We are filing a petition for custody of him before the court,” he added.

Marcelino is now detained at the AFP Custodial Center.

Early in 2016, Marcelino and Shuo were caught inside a shabu lab in Manila by a composite raiding team of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Anti-Illegal Drug Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

At least P380 million worth of drugs weighing 76.6 kilograms of shabu was seized.

Marcelino was a former official of the PDEA.