Monday, January 12, 2009
Boy Marcelino is a good friend and colleague so I am supporting him on his call to promote this current controversial issue that plagues his family specifically his brother Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). I have heard of his brother Ferdinand, his role model. And this blog post is in support of his family.
Aside from poverty identified as one of the issues in the communities where we work as an institution (Community Organizers Multiversity), drug addiction and its related ills are the biggest challenge causing breakdown in the community. But what is more aggravating on this issue is the connivance and collusion of military and government officials, another case of corruption.
Drugs corrupt and destroy lives...
Corrupt government and military officials destroy a nation...
Good thing the Philippines still have the few of the kinds of Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino.
Mabuhay kayo Major!
Imbestigahan korupsiyon sa DOJ!
Here are links from you tube regarding Maj. Marcelino's background and a TV interview on the case
MARINE MAJOR FERDINAND MARCELINO - A MAN OF INTEGRITY, A LIVING HERO
Interview of Maj. Marcelino.
Below is the story taken from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
PDEA’s Marcelino a battle-scarred Marine
By Arlyn dela Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:25:00 01/07/2009
Filed Under: PDEA-DOJ bribery issue, People, Civil & Public Services, Military
MANILA, Philippines—Before joining the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino saw action in strife-torn areas in Muslim Mindanao as a Marine officer.
Marcelino is the PDEA officer who spoke of three alleged attempts to bribe him and his men in exchange for the release of the so-called “Alabang Boys.” Marcelino said he said no and stood his ground.
Mindanao was one posting Marcelino would never forget, citing his work on intelligence during the Dos Palmas kidnapping saga in 2001 as his most difficult assignment, one that kept him away from his family for a long time.
The Dos Palmas incident involved the kidnapping of 20 people, including three Americans, from a tourist resort on Palawan Island. The incident drew world headlines.
“Once, on Sept. 30, 2001, we had an encounter in Sumisip and we were almost wiped out,” Marcelino said in Filipino. “For a whole day and night, no reinforcements came.”
“That was also the time when my youngest child, Amir, was born. It was also during that period that our electricity and water supplies were cut off at PMA (Philippine Military Academy) where my family lived.”
He said he had wanted to go back home to his family but his work as part of a major intelligence operation to get Abu Sayyaf commander Aldam Tilao, also known as Abu Sabaya, made him stay in Mindanao. Sabaya was later killed in an encounter with government forces.
“I was in the frontline of the intelligence operation then. The letters of Abu Sabaya were passing through me,” Marcelino said.
Marcelino said there were attempts by other officers, mostly from the Marines, to recruit him to join the core group of Magdalo officers, who eventually launched a mutiny against the Arroyo administration in 2003.
“They kept talking to me during meetings about our torn combat boots and uniform and about corruption in the military,” he said.
“I told them we were all similarly getting assigned to remote places in the Philippines where we had no slippers, no clothes or even food to eat. I said the people did not send us to the PMA so that we would have nice combats or clothes or a nice life. We are trained to endure all kinds of hardships,” Marcelino said, explaining his decision not to join the Magdalo Group.
Hardship is nothing new to Marcelino. He said he actually lived in poverty and had to support himself to get an education.
A tabloid reporter
As a working student, Marcelino said he did odd jobs, anything that would help him survive the day, and this included a stint as a construction worker in the summer of 1988.
He had planned to enroll at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, thinking it was the only school he could afford. But when it was time to enroll, he found out he needed to pay P180 and he did not even have half of that amount in his pocket.
But lady luck smiled on him.
While working at the construction site in Recto, he said he saw a poster of the DAWN, the college publication of University of the East. “If you are able to make it to the paper, tuition is free, and you even get an honorarium.”
He knew he could write and applied and was taken in as a staff member. While studying at University of the East and working on the college paper, Marcelino said he found a sideline—as a police beat reporter for the then afternoon tabloid, Headline Manila.
That eventually led him to the doors of PMA.
Marcelino said that as a police reporter, he was supposed to interview the PMA commandant “when somebody handed me an application ... I was financially hard up so I applied to be a PMA cadet.”
He became part of PMA Class 1994.
Now, Marcelino is on the spotlight with his revelations about the “Alabang Boys” Richard Brodett, Jorge Joseph and Joseph Tecson.
PDEA Director General Dionisio Santiago described Marcelino as incorruptible. When he assumed the agency’s top post, he convinced Marcelino to join him. His reason: “He (Marcelino) can be trusted, he will do good.”
Before becoming a special unit head at the PDEA, Marcelino, along with a fellow military officer, Maj. Valentino Lopez, was asked by Santiago to help him solve the case of the missing 7 kilos of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) at the evidence storage area of the PDEA.
The case was solved and the masterminds were identified—two police colonels and a police major.
With the cracking of the case and their discovery of a clandestine shabu laboratory operated by Chinese nationals in Calumpit, Bulacan, Santiago asked Marcelino and Lopez to help cleanse the PDEA and prove that an agency of government could serve the people well.
“I can vividly recall what the DG (director general) said. ‘If you are not going to help me here at PDEA, who else can help me whom I can trust’?”
Marcelino said he was about to go schooling abroad when Santiago’s offer came. He said the challenge of doing something more for the country through the PDEA appealed to him.
Marcelino said he was ready to defend in any investigation the operation that led to the arrest of the Alabang Boys.
On Tuesday, before the House committee on dangerous drugs, he did just that.
(Note: I have not posted for wuite sometime after coming back to the Philippines where internet connection is so limited, even the wireless service I subscribed is very poor. Anyway I enjoyed a great vacation.)