Aguirre move to cancel dismissal of raps vs Lim, Espinosa hailed
CEBU CITY–The chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG-7) welcomed the decision of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to cancel his prosecutors’ findings that dismissed the case of high-profile drug trafficking suspects Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa.
Allowing another investigation would help law enforcers and the prosecution to present more evidence against Lim, Espinosa, and several of their co-accused, Supt. Royina Garma, CIDG-7 director, said.
“If the case is reopened, everything will be reviewed. That is good news. At least our investigators will have the chance to present their evidence,” he said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
Garma said the prosecution must take advantage of the situation so they could present sufficient evidence to prove the guilt of the respondents.
“We can scrutinize the evidence to find out what else we need or the evidence which we lack when the case was first resolved by the panel of prosecutors,” she said.
The CIDG-7, she said, is willing to gather more evidence against Lim who is based in Cebu.
“We’re ready to help if we will be directed by our national office,” she said.
Garma reiterated her appeal for witnesses to come forward and testify against Lim.
“As it is, we need the support of the community. The police cannot do this alone. We welcome any witness who can help us in the investigation,” she said.
“As I said before, we are not done yet. There’s an automatic review of the case and this is good for us,” she added.
Aguirre on Tuesday issued an order scrapping the earlier dismissal of the drug trafficking case against the respondents.
With his order, he said the parties in the case could now submit new evidence to strengthen their respective positions.
Aguirre said the “nationwide uproar” over the dismissal of suspected big fish in the drug trade contributed to his decision.
Lim’s spokesperson Dioscoro “Jun” Fuentes declined to issue any statement since he has not conferred with his boss yet.
“We haven’t met yet so I’d rather not issue a statement for the time being,” he said in a phone interview.
Assistant State Prosecutors Michael John Humarang and Aristotle Reyes earlier dismissed the charges against Lim and company because of failure of the CIDG to present sufficient evidence and because of the “inconsistencies” in the testimony of lone witness Marcelo Adorco.
Acting Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Rassendell Rex Gingoyon recommended approval of the resolution, which was approved by Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan.
The Dec. 20, 2017 ruling was made public only last March 12.
The decision drew the ire of senators and several individuals particularly since Espinosa has admitted his involvement in the illegal drug trade. Lim, on the other hand, has repeatedly denied links to the illicit trade.