The City Prosecutor’s Office dismissed on Thursday the charge of illegal selling of prohibited drugs filed by the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) against Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III following last Monday’s raid on his residence.
Elmer Zita, spokesman of Marcaida, said the dismissal of the particular charge was ordered by the City prosecutor who noted there was no substantial evidence of a drug sale among the evidence presented by the authorities.
“Wala namang buy-bust. Wala namang nahuling nagbebentahan. Wala namang bumili. There is no evidence that will warrant the accusation of selling ng illegal drugs,” Zita said.
Marcaida earlier opted to retract his waiver, facilitating the prosecutor’s determination of probable cause on the cases filed against him. He was committed on Wednesday to City Jail awaiting the city prosecutor’s ruling.
“Para mapabilis. Kasi ngayon, effective September 1 meron ng speedy trial on drug related cases. In less than 3 months pwede na kaming maka-avail ng justice,” Zita said.
Monette Marcaida, wife of Luis, meanwhile issued a public appeal calling for a stop on what she said were harassment on her husband and their family.
“Nakita naman natin sa social media, kung anu-anong salita at mga pagpapakababa ng pagkatao ang sinasabi nila sa aking asawa. Tama na. Sana naman nauunawaan din ninyo ‘yung pinagdadaanan ng pamilya namin lalo na yung mga anak ko, ang sakit,” Marcaida said.
She also noted that some of the firearms that were confiscated belongs to her husband and that those guns were licensed, with Luis being a registered member of a local shooting club.
“Ang pagkakaalam ko lisensyado naman lahat ng mga baril niya,”said Marcaida.
At City Hall, local officials took exception to lawyer Ferdinand Topacio’s statement during a press conference Wednesday alluding to his clients political opponents as behind Marcaida’s arrest.
“Iyong timing (of the raid), the timing is suspect,” Topacio said, referring to their ongoing efforts to legally challenge Mayor Lucilo Bayron’s assumption as city mayor despite the Ombudsman’s dismissal order.
City information officer, Richard Ligad said that Marcaida’s arrest was “a separate matter”.
“Separate matter ‘yung sa political issues at issues niya (Marcaida) sa drugs,” said Ligad.
Ligad denied Topacio’s accusation that the raid was politically motivated.
“Madali lang sabihin na dahil sa pulitika ‘yung nangyari pero hindi ba wala naman siyang ebidensya?” Said Ligad.
“Mayor Bayron has no hand in that,” City Administrator Atty. Arnel Pedrosa said, stating that the search warrant was obtained in Manila, issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge in Manila and the raiding team from Manila which does not have connection with the city mayor.
“Atty. Topacio, if ever said that, was just muddling the issue which is not political in the first place but criminal,” Pedrosa added.