MANILA – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II created on Wednesday a special panel to resolve the motion for reconsideration from the PNP-CIDG of an earlier decision by prosecutors dismissing the complaints against alleged drug lords Peter Lim, Peter Co, Kerwin Espinosa and several others.
Department Order 151 signed by Aguirre designated Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, Assistant State Prosecutor Ana Noreen Devanadera amd Prosecutor Herbert Calvin Abugan to resolve the MR in the case “PNP-CIDG-MCIU versus Peter Lima@Jaguar, Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Co, Lovely Impal, Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Ruel Malindagan, Jun Pepito and several John Does.”
In the same order, Aguirre designated Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon to serve as acting prosecutor general for this case.
As Aguirre issued the order, PNP-CIDG officials told a press conference they did not include Espinosa’s testimony at the Senate in the complaint they filed with prosecutors because at that time, his status as state witness was unclear. They noted he had subsequently disowned his testimony at a Senate inquiry, where he claimed giving millions to then-Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. The latter was then allegedly raising money for her senatorial run in 2016.
Moreover, they considered Adorco’s testimony solid by itself, as he was part of the group of drug suspects and had given categorical information.
The prosecutors’ decision – dated December 20 but known by journalists only this week – to dismiss the complaints against Lim, Co, Espinosa et al. was met with outrage from many quarters, with critics of President Duterte’s drug war policy saying it showed his campaign is “fake” and selective, targetting only poor, small suspects and political foes like De Lima. – With a report from Marlene Alcaide, News5