Espinosa, Co, Lim submit counter-affidavits at DOJ probe

MANILA -- Self-confessed drug dealer Rolan Kerwin Espinosa and convicted drug lord Peter Co on Thursday submitted their counter-affidavits on the criminal charges filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) against them for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs operations in Central and Eastern Visayas.

Espinosa and Co submitted their counter-affidavits to Assistant State Prosecutors John Michael Humarang and Aristotle Reyes, who handle the preliminary probe of the case for violation of Section 26 (b) of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

Aside from Espinosa and Co, Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim and several others, namely Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Lovely Adam Impal, Ruel Mangalindan and Jaime Jun Pepito, a village councilor in Albuera, Leyte were also included as respondents in the complaint .

Several individuals were identified only by their aliases -- Jeremy aka Amang, Ricky, Warren, Tupie, Jojo, Yawa, Lapi, Royroy, Marlon, Bay, John Doe (alleged delivery man of Co), Peter Doe (alleged delivery man of Lim) and Robert Doe (also an alleged delivery man of Lim) are facing a complaint for violation of Section 26 (b) of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

Section 26 (b) is an attempt or conspiracy for the sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of any dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential chemicals.

Lim, wearing a face mask with shades, arrived at the DOJ past 3 p.m. and then proceeded to the office of Assistant Prosecutor Aristotle Reyes where he submitted his counter affidavit. He was accompanied by his counsel Atty. Magilyn Loja.

Reyes earlier said they will not accept Lim's counter-affidavit if he will not personally appear before the panel of prosecutors to personally subscribe to his affidavit.

He was able to appear before the City Prosecutor of Manila and yet he failed to appear before us here, Reyes said during the hearing.

When asked why Lim opted to be at the Manila Prosecutor's Office at the City Hall of Manila which is only 1.5 kilometer away from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Loja said did you see the number of people around?

"We could not be sure about the security. It was a personal decision that he made.

Access to this place (DOJ) is available to anyone who can come in regardless. Unfortunately, the panel is unable to appreciate the fear that my client has regarding the safety of his life, Loja said.

Reyes said Lim has to appear before them within the day to subscribe his affidavit otherwise they will consider that he has waived on the opportunity to respond to the illegal drug trade allegation.

Loja said she was not sure if her client will appear Thursday to personally subscribe to his affidavit before the panel.

Loja said Lim's affidavit contains his denial that he met Espinosa in Thailand and that he transacted with other drug lords in Visayas.

Adorco, a respondent in the complaint, on Thursday presented and reaffirmed his affidavit that has been used as basis of the PNP-CIDG to file a complaint against the respondents.

Another hearing has been set on Sept. 6, at 10 a.m., for the submission of counter-affidavit of other respondents Adorco, Impal, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan and Jun Pepito.

The DOJ prosecutors said they have received information that Impal could not attend Thursday's probe as she has to attend the trial of the case filed against her at Lanao del Norte Regional Trial Court.

Source: Philippine News Agency