Guevarra: DOJ ready to defend reinvestigation of drug lords

Published June 7, 2018, 2:40 PM

by Patrick Garcia

 By Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday (June 7) that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is ready to defend before the Supreme Court (SC) the decision to reinvestigate the drug complaint against suspected drug lord Peter Lim and his co-respondents.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

Guevarra gave this assurance after learning that Lim has filed a petition for certiorari asking the SC to nullify the DOJ order to conduct the reinvestigation of the drug complaint.

“We were informed that his lawyers had filed a petition for certiorari citing grave abuse of discretion. The DOJ welcomes the filing of the petition and we are ready to defend our actions,” said Guevarra.

Meanwhile, the Secretary expressed confidence that the high tribunal will make the right ruling regarding Lim’s petition.

“I trust in the good sense of the SC,” he stated.

In his petition, Lim told the SC the reinvestigation ordered by then DOJ secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II violates his rights to life and liberty, to due process of law, and to speedy disposition of cases.

With this, Lim pleaded the SC to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would stop immediately the second preliminary investigation of the complaint which accused him with the sale, administration, dispensation, trading, delivery, and transportation of illegal drugs under Republic Act No. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act).

He reminded that the charges against him had been dismissed by a panel of DOJ prosecutors last December for lack of probable cause.

However, Lim lamented quirre voided the findings of the panel of prosecutors, created a new panel, and ordered another preliminary investigation last March.

“It is clear that the reopening of the preliminary investigation grossly violates petitioner’s constitutional rights to life and liberty, due process and speedy distortion of the case against him,” Lim said in his petition.

“Clearly, the issuance of the assailed order and resolution based solely on the ‘pulse of the people’ and the perceived ‘public outage’ is an unbridled exercise of power by the DOJ, which tramples upon petitioner’s constitutional rights to life and liberty, and to due process, and constitutes grave abuse of discretion,” he also argued.

On the other hand, Lim explained he elevated the case immediately before the SC and not with the Court of Appeals (CA) since the case involved constitutional issues.