THE Department of Justice (DoJ) on Monday cleared from illegal drug charges trader Peter Lim and several other respondents in connection with the illegal drug trade operations of Kerwin Espinosa in the Visayas region.
In a 41-page resolution, Assistant State Prosecutors Michael John Humarang and Aristotle Reyes found no probable cause against Lim, Espinosa and several others.
The charges against Lim involved drug transactions from February 2013 to August 2015, during which at least 90 kilos of shabu were alleged to have come from Lim and convicted drug lord Peter Co.
Also cleared were Co, Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Lovely Impal, Ruel Malindangan and Jun Pepito, as well as several John Does and persons known only by the names of Jermy or Amang, Ricky, Warren, Tupie, Jojo, Jaime,Yawa, Lapi, Royroy, Marlon, Bay.
The resolution was approved by Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr.
The case will be elevated to the Secretary of Justice for automatic review.
The case filed by Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group alleged that illegal drugs were delivered to a grocery store in Makati City, and then distributed by Espinosa’s men to Bohol, Samar, Northern and Southern Leyte, Biliran and some parts of Cebu.
The transactions supposedly involved 20 kilos of shabu from Co on February 5, 2013; 20 kilos from Lim on February 16, 2013; and 50 kilos from Lim on June 7, 2015. There were four other supposed transactions and deliveries with Lim as supplier, allegedly in 2014. But the value of shabu delivered was not indicated.
The DoJ junked the case because the only witness of the police, Adorco, disowned his earlier testimony. Adorco claimed he was coerced by authorities to admit to knowledge of the drug operations.
The “complainant has failed to present any circumstantial evidence to prove respondents’ illegal drug transactions. [I]t is undeniable that the evidence in this case is grossly insufficient to justify a finding of probable cause that respondents engaged in the illegal drug trade,” prosecutors said.
The prosecution also gave weight to Lim’s denial that he met Espinosa and Adorco in Thailand on June 4, 2015 regarding a delivery of 50 kilos of shabu to Espinosa.
Lim said it was physically impossible for him to meet them because he never went to Bangkok.