Concrete pieces of evidence and affidavits must be provided first that would build up for criminal cases to be filed against Cebu businessman Peter Lim, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday.
Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesman, said law enforcers will still need to validate if there are indeed strong pieces of evidences that would constitute why Lim, a wedding co-sponsor of President Rodrigo Duterte, should be arrested for allegedly supplying illegal drugs.
“That is why the case build-up is being done,” Carlos said in an interview with ANC’s Headstart.
Despite Lim’s close ties with the President, who has been campaigning for an all-out war against illegal narcotics in the country, the police spokesman said authorities will have “no favorites” in arresting and filing appropriate charges against criminals, if the evidence against them is strong.
This, as criticisms are being aired that Duterte has been tolerating his kumpadre or close friend even if as has been commanding policemen to go after every drug suspect.
The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) earlier filed drug trafficking charges against Lim, where the unit also emphasized that he allegedly supplied 50 kilos of shabu to alleged drug kingpin Kerwin Espinosa in June 2015 in Makati City.
“Because, if all those in the [drug watch]list and if we can have enough evidence against them, then we will take legal action against these personalities,” Carlos pointed out.
He also said that Duterte, the police and military’s commander in chief, is giving “a chance” to those who are
included in the drug watch matrix and asked for assurance that these alleged drug suspects will not let themselves be involved in any drug-related crimes and activities.
Since those individuals in the police’s drug watch list are denying such linkages with illegal narcotics when appearing before the CIDG, Carlos said the police, as well as other law enforcement agencies, are being prompted to “continuously” conduct validation process and case buildup on these suspected drug syndicates.
If the police will be able to consolidate pieces of evidence from the validation process, it will be the proper time for policemen to file charges before a criminal court wherein legal actions will “prosper,” he added.
But even those who are not in the list would not go scot-free as Carlos said some information already landed the police’s table and it will also undergo proper confirmation.
“We continually look for pieces of evidence, statements or affidavits that would have a stronger case before a criminal court when we take action,” he said.
Among the supposed “narco-politicians” included in Duterte’s list is Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, who expressed the fear that he might suffer the same fate as former Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr.
According to Carlos, the PNP will also continue to do a case buildup since information coming to them will first go undergo proper validation, reiterating the PNP’s stance in building the case that might be charged against Lim.
He also allayed Mabilog’s fears, since the latter already followed the instruction of the President “to don’t do” drugs.
“Now, if there are reports and validated information turn out to be against them, then that is when we will be filing charges,” Carlos noted.