Aguirre: No basis for suspending prosecutors in dismissed drug cases
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday said the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is not familiar with the workings at the Department of Justice (DOJ) stressing that there was no basis for pushing for the suspension of the prosecutors involved in the dismissal of case against Peter Lim.
At a press conference, PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica said the DOJ prosecutors should have conducted clarificatory hearings and exerted extra efforts before resolving the case against Peter Lim.
Assistant State Prosecutors Michael John M. Humarang and Aristotle M. Reyes, now a judge at the Lucena Regional Trial Court, recommended the dismissal of the case against Peter Lim, Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Co and several others.
Their resolution was endorsed by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Rassendell Rex F. Gingoyon and approved by acting Prosecutor General Jorge G. Catalan.
“It appears that they are not familiar with the workings and procedures on how the DOJ conducts preliminary investigations,” Aguirre said in a text message.
He said that, while he had not yet seen the recommendation by the PACC, “I could not see any basis for such complaint [against the prosecutors].”
Aguirre earlier apologized to the prosecutors.
He said he only ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a probe on them to show the public that they were not hiding anything.
According to Aguirre, it is also not the prosecutor’s duty to gather evidence because in a preliminary investigation he acts as judge who evaluate the evidence presented by both parties. /atm
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