DOJ indicts Lim, Espinosa in 2nd drug case
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday indicted Cebu businessman Peter Lim, confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and several others anew for engaging in the illegal drug trade.
The panel of prosecutors that conducted the preliminary investigation found probable cause to charge the respondents for conspiring to commit illegal drug trading, in violation of Section 26 (b) in relation to Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The prosecutors found that Espinosa’s admission during a Senate inquiry that he distributed drugs, along with the positive identification by witness Marcelo Adorco of Lim as Espinosa’s supplier of the drugs, were sufficient to establish probable cause.
According to the panel, conspiracy to commit drug trading is a distinct offense and that the agreement to trade in drugs is “the gravemen of the offense.”
“The drugs themselves as corpus delicti (body of evidence) of drug trading are not essential under Section 26 (b) of the law,” the panel’s resolution stated, addressing Espinosa’s claim that no drugs were seized from him.
The case was filed before the Makati City Regional Trial Court, also on Friday, according to the panel head, State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera.
The supplier ‘Jaguar’
Regarding Lim’s defense that he was not the drug supplier whom Espinosa referred to as “Jaguar,” the panel said it was “immaterial” as Lim was identified by both Espinosa and Adorco.
On Lim’s alibi that he was not in Thailand when the deal to trade in drugs was reached during the time attested to by Adorco, the panel said this “has to yield to the positive and affirmative statements of the said witness.”
Last July 19, the justice department also indicted Espinosa, Lim, Adorco, Lovely Impal and Ruel Malindangan for a similar offense in a separate case involving drug transactions in Central and Western Visayas.
The first case was ordered dismissed by state prosecutors last March, causing a public uproar and contributing to the resignation of then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II in April.
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