Peter Lim finds reactions over case dismissal unfair
CEBU CITY-Cebu businessman Peter Lim is starting to worry again, two days after being overjoyed by the dismissal of the illegal drug trafficking charge filed against him.
“How things quickly change,” said Lim’s spokesperson Jun Fuentes after President Duterte vowed to take matters into his own hands and review the complaint filed against Lim and several other high-profile drug personalities.
Fuentes said they thought the truth had already prevailed but didn’t expect the victory to be short-lived.
“We were thinking that we almost got it, and that the truth has set us free. However, because of the negative reactions, things changed. This is just so unfair,” he said. Fuentes refused to elaborate.
Lim’s lawyers were preparing for the continued legal battle after the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed a motion for reconsideration to contest the dismissal of the charges against Lim and the other respondents.
President Duterte on Tuesday questioned the findings of the state prosecutors that the evidence against the respondents were weak.
Reacting to the outrage over the outcome of the case, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Mr. Duterte told Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II that the latter would take the places of Lim and self-confessed drug lord Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. if the two would go scot-free.
Aguirre has ordered the creation of a new panel to review the decision of state prosecutors.
The panel is composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, Assistant State Prosecutor Ana Noreen Devanadera and Prosecution Attorney Herbert Calvin Abugan.
Aguirre also asked the National Bureau of Investigation to probe Assistant State Prosecutors Michael John Humarang and Aristotle Reyes, who dismissed the charges against Lim and companions, to determine if they committed violations in resolving the case.
Humarang and Reyes, in its resolution, opted to junk the charges against Lim and the other respondents for failure of the CIDG to present sufficient evidence.
The Dec. 20, 2017 ruling, which was made public only last Monday, was approved by Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan.
The decision drew the ire of senators and several individuals since Espinosa, at the very least, already admitted that he was a drug lord.
Lim, on his part, repeatedly denied the accusations hurled against him, saying he has not been involved in the illegal drugs trade./lb
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