I wanted to get the informed opinion, and
that came in the form of the quote above,
from his fellow PMA-er who personally knows,
and can vouch for the unimpeachable character of
Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino,
the straightest arrow of the PDEA,
the scourge of the drug-dealing Alabang Boys,
the soldier brave and tough enough to go mano-a-mano
with the argumentums ad senile dementia
of inJustice Secretary Raul Gonzales,
and get in quite a few verbal punches of his own,
that shook and flustered GMA's curmudgeon-du-jour.
More about our New Filipino Hero from
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
PDEA's Marcelino a battle-scarred Marine
By Arlyn dela Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
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.
"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."
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 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,
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.
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 can be trusted, he will do good."
"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.