Gusto mag-solo! Peter Lim doesn’t want to be lumped with Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Co in drug probe

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Cebu businessman and alleged big-time drug lord Peter Lim has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct a separate preliminary investigation on the illegal drug raps lodged against him and his co-respondents, a week before the start of the preliminary probe into the police’s drug complaint.

“Considering that he is being charged with a non-bailable offense, and in order to prevent undue prejudice to him, Mr. Lim respectfully requests that this Panel of Prosecutors conduct a separate preliminary investigation against him to fully protect his constitutional right to due process,” read his ad cautelam motion filed Friday.

“In this regard, Mr. Lim is concerned that his defenses and the obvious lack of evidence against him might not be given due attention in view of the number of respondents and transactions involved in the case,” it added.

“Worse, his defenses might not only be glossed over and overshadowed as this Panel of Prosecutors may concentrate on the defenses raised by the other respondents,” the motion stated.

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

Meanwhile, Lim’s co-accused Miro and Pepito were killed in separate incidents.

Based on the returned subpoenas received by the DOJ, it confirmed that Miro died last March 10 in a police operation conducted by the Ormoc Police in Barangay Bantigue, Ormoc City, while Pepito was killed by unidentified riding-in-tandem suspects in Albuera, Leyte on Dec. 1, 2017.

The criminal complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s Major Crimes Investigation Unit (PNP-CIDG-MCIU) before the DOJ accused Lim and his co-respondents 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 (RA) No. 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

A new panel of prosecutors, composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, Assistant State Prosecutor Anna Norren Devanadera, and Prosecution Attorney Herbert Calvin Abugan, is set to start its preliminary investigation into the drug complaint at 1 p.m. on April 12.

Former justice chief Vitaliano Aguirre II said the new panel of prosecutors is empowered to continue the preliminary investigation on the cases against the two alleged drug kingpins.

He made the move after being criticized when a panel of prosecutors of the DOJ issued the Dec. 20, 2017 resolution that dismissed the drug complaint filed by the PNP-CIDG-MCIU.