Dismissal of charges vs Espinosa, Lim, et al. ‘perplexing’ says Poe
How a “self-confessed drug lord” like Kerwin Espinosa could be absolved by the State was “perplexing,” Senator Grace Poe lamented on Tuesday.
Poe said she was “disturbed” by the basis upon which the Department of Justice (DOJ) panel made its recommendation to dismiss the drug charges against Espinosa, noting that he himself admitted before a Senate inquiry that he was involved in the drug trade.
“How a self-confessed drug lord like Kerwin Espinosa can be exonerated by the State, is perplexing. It reflects the sloppiness of the police’s investigation and case build up against these drug lords,” the senator added.
Cebu businessman and suspected drug triad boss Peter Lim, convicted drug lord Peter Co, Lovely Impal, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan, Jun Pepito and several others had been reportedly exonerated by the DOJ panel of prosecutors.
The panel, in a resolution reportedly issued on December 20, 2017, cited the weak evidence presented by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the “inconsistencies” in the testimony of its lone witness, Marcelo Adorco, who was also cleared by them.
Poe pointed out that instead of absolving the respondents, Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan’s claims that Adorco’s statements were “self-serving and contradictory should have prompted them to use the entire machinery of the State’s prosecution arm to gather more testimonial and object evidence, rather than lazily relying on this single witness.”
“Naghanap ba talaga ng ebidensya ang prosekyusyon?” she asked.
If the DOJ panel decision was affirmed by the Secretary of Justice, Poe said this “would be an insult to the brave policemen who have died in legitimate anti-drug operations.”
In August 2017, the CIDG filed a case against the respondents for their alleged conspiracy to commit the “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.