New DOJ panel to start probe on drug raps vs. Lim, Espinosa Thursday

MANILA The new panel of prosecutors will start on Thursday its preliminary investigation on the drug complaint filed by the police against Cebu businessman and alleged big-time drug lord Peter Lim, self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, and several others.

The panel formed by former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II is composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, Assistant State Prosecutor Anna Noreen Devanadera, and Prosecution Attorney Herbert Calvin Abugan.

Based on the subpoena issued by the DOJ, the respondents are required to attend the first hearing set at 1 p.m. on April 12.

The measure would allow the parties, including the police officials, to submit additional evidence to support their respective positions.

Last April 6, Lim asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct a separate preliminary investigation on the illegal drug raps lodged against him and his co-respondents.

Considering that he is being charged with a non-bailable offense, and in order to prevent undue prejudice to him, Mr. Lim respectfully requests that this Panel of Prosecutors conduct a separate preliminary investigation against him to fully protect his constitutional right to due process, read his ad cautelam motion filed last Friday.

In this regard, Mr. Lim is concerned that his defenses and the obvious lack of evidence against him might not be given due attention in view of the number of respondents and transactions involved in the case, it added.

Worse, his defenses might not only be glossed over and overshadowed as this Panel of Prosecutors may concentrate on the defenses raised by the other respondents, the motion stated.

Apart from Lim and Espinosa, named as respondents in the complaint were convicted drug lord Peter Co, alleged drug supplier Lovely Impal, alleged drug dealer Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan, Noel Jun Pepito, and 11 others, only known via their aliases Amang, Ricky, Warren, Tupie, Jojo, Jaime, Yawa, Lapi, Royroy, Marlon, and Bay.

Lim's co-accused Miro and Pepito died in separate incidents. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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