Press Release
February 9, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 465:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the ordeal of Col. Ferdinand Marcelino


I am glad that Marine Col. Ferdinand Marcelino has found the courage to speak out and assert anew his innocence on the drug charges previously filed against him. Indeed, being falsely accused is most painful. I know exactly, without any exaggeration, how it feels to be falsely accused.

Perhaps what many people do not know is the previously dismissed charges against Col. Marcelino were then revived in order to pressure him to falsely testify against me. His and my experience only goes to show the malevolent strategies utilized by the Duterte government to persecute and target innocent individuals who are perceived to be enemies as well as those who they think ought to be silenced. He was a collateral victim of this government's vindictive actions against me, despite his track record of integrity in going after criminals as a PDEA official.

But I must say that what Col. Marcelino has experienced is only half, if not less, of what I experienced and continue to experience under this Administration. In my case, I was subjected to all sorts of public shaming, vilification, and character assassination. The entire machinery of government was tapped in a massive operation just to manufacture criminal charges against me and put me in jail indefinitely. A long line of convicted criminals was recruited as perjured witnesses against me in exchange for privileges and special treatment, and for them to stay alive.

I am glad that Col. Marcelino's ordeal is over. Mine, however, continues. Ang pakiusap ko lang sa kanya ngayon ay ito - now that he is a free man, may he continue to have the courage to always stand up for what is true, right and just. Huwag sana siyang magpagamit kanino man para idiin pa ako sa mga kaso. He knows I am innocent.

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