Detained Sen. Leila de Lima on Friday described as “very brazen” the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to withdraw the drug charges against Marine intelligence officer Lieutenant Colonel Ferdinand Marcelino.
De Lima said Marcelino’s freedom had been given by the DOJ to further provide the government with some leverage to cook up something against her.
“Isn’t it obvious that his freedom is in exchange for mine?” De Lima told reporters on Friday before the hearing of her case of disobedience to summons filed before the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 34.
She added: “A deal has been struck that he (Marcelino) testify against me. Too bad, I thought he was a man of honor, of integrity.”
De Lima was present during the hearing of the motion filed by the prosecution to admit comment on De Lima’s motion for reconsideration after it failed to meet the 10-day period.
On Thursday, the DOJ dropped the P380-million drug case versus Marcelino and his Chinese companion Yan Yi Shou, citing insufficient evidence.
“I suspect that a deal has been struck,” the lawmaker said. “It must have been irresistible… or an overwhelming (sense of) fear.”
Judge Ludmila de Pio Lim allowed both the defense and prosecution camps to discuss their arguments. The QC court is expected to release a resolution on De Lima’s motion before June 9, the scheduled first presentation of witnesses from the prosecution. JPV/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.