DOJ panel to start probe of raps vs. Peter Lim, et al

Published April 11, 2018, 3:28 PM

by iManila Developer

By Jeffrey Damicog

A new panel of prosecutors will start today (April 11) the preliminary investigation of the previously dismissed drug complaint against suspected drug lord Peter Lim and his co-respondents.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Lim and his fellow respondents, including self-confessed drug lord Rolan (Kerwin) Espinosa and convicted drug lord Peter Co are expected to appear at the hearing of the preliminary investigation to be held at the Department of Justice (DOJ) after the panel sent out subpoenas to them.

Former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II formed the new panel of prosecutors which is composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, Assistant State Prosecutor Anna Norren Devanadera, and Prosecution Attorney Herbert Calvin Abugan.

Aguirre made the move after being criticized when a previous DOJ panel of prosecutors issued the December 20, 2017 resolution which dismissed the drug complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s Major Crimes Investigation Unit (PNP-CIDG-MCIU).

In his order dated March 19, Aguirre said “the Resolution dated December 20, 2017 dismissing this instant case be vacated and the above-mentioned case be remanded to a new panel of prosecutors for purposes of conducting the continuation of the preliminary investigation/clarificatory hearing and to allow the complainant and respondents to submit additional pieces of evidence in support of their respective positions.”

Aguirre explained in his order that he gave the directive pursuant to his powers as then justice secretary provided under Republic Act 10071 (Prosecution Service Act of 2010) in relation to DOJ Department Circular No. 004 dated January 4, 2017 regarding automatic review of criminal complaints.

Under the complaint, Lim and his co-respondents are accused of violating Section 26(b) in relation to Section 5 (Sale, Trading, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Distribution and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals) of Republic Act 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Apart from Lim, those who have been named as respondents in the complaint are self-confessed drug lord Rolan (Kerwin) Espinosa, convicted drug lord Peter Co, alleged drug supplier Lovely Impal, arrested alleged drug dealer Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan, Jun Pepito, and several others known through the aliases Amang, Ricky, Warren, Tupie, Jojo, Jaime, Yawa, Lapi, Royroy, Marlon, and Bay.

Two of the respondents have already died, namely, Pepito who was killed by two unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen in Barangay Seguinon in Albuera, Leyte last December 1 and Miro who was killed when police tried to arrest him during an operation at his home in Barangay Bantigue in Ormoc City, Leyte last March 10.

The PNP based its complaint on the sworn statements issued by Adorco who was arrested on July 8, 2016 during a drug buy-bust operation in Albuera, Leyte. Adorco had worked for Espinosa.

However, the panel of prosecutors which dismissed the case ruled that “his testimonies are rife with inconsistencies and contradictions, and run against the standards of human experience and the logical course of reality.”

 
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