PNP-CIDG files criminal rap vs Peter Lim, 7 others over drug operations in Visayas

MANILA-- The Philippine National Police filed a criminal complaint against Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim and several others due to their alleged involvement in illegal drugs operations in Central and Eastern Visayas.

In its July 5 complaint, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) named Lim, Rolan Kerwin Espinosa, convicted drug lord Peter Co, alleged drug supplier Lovely Adam Impal, Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan and Jun Pepito as respondents to the complaint for violation of Section 26 (b) of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

Lim, along with his co-accused Co, who is currently detained in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City on drug trafficking charges and Lovely Impal as among those who supplied illegal drugs to Espinosa's operation.

Investigation disclosed that the group of Espinosa also known as Boss K was a transporter, trader. Seller and distributor of illegal drugs (shabu) in some areas they controlled in Regions 7 and 8 (Bohol, Samar, Northern and Southern Leyte, Biliran and some parts of Cebu). Their group was being supplied with shabu for distribution and trading by Peter Co, Lovely Impal, Peter Go Lim among others,' part of the complaint said.

It said this was further bolstered when one of their co-accused, Marcelo Adorco of Albuera, Leyte and four others were arrested in a buy-bust operation on July 8, 2016 wherein aside from pointing to Espinosa and his father, the late Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa as the source or owner of the firearms and shabu seized from them also identified the three as among their supplier.

The complaint said Adorco during his interrogation and subsequent investigation further provided the links and transactions in the illegal drugs trade with drug transactions from February 2013 to August 2015 involving at least 90 kilos of shabu sourced from Lim and Co.

The said illegal drugs according to the complaint were delivered at a grocery store in Makati City, and distributed by Espinosa's men in Bohol, Samar, Northern and Southern Leyte, Biliran and some parts of Cebu.

Specifically, the complaint said 20 kilos of shabu were sourced from Co on February 5, 2013; 20 kilos from Lim on February 16, 2013; and 50 kilos from Lim on June 7, 2015.

Indeed, there was widespread illegal drug trade in Regions 7 and 8 during the years of their existing conspiracy prompting no less than the President of the Philippines to announce those involved in the illegal drug trade to include Peter Lim, Peter Co, Rolan 'Kerwin' Espinosa, and the latter's father, Rolando Espinosa, to name a few, it added.

The offense involved conspiracy to commit sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals.

(Their) criminal conspiracy was continuously existing (and appears to have been consummated) in various places of Makati City to Regions 7 and 8 from February 2013 up to August 2015 at the very least, read a portion of the complaint.

(This) investigation clearly shows that conspiracy to sell, deliver, transport, trade and distribute shabu existed between and among the respondents, it added.

At the same time, the complaint also identified Lim as the same person who surrendered to President Duterte last year after his name was mentioned as among those behind the narcotics trade in the country.

Lim denied any involvement in the illegal activity when he faced Duterte.

Aside from Lim, Espinosa, Co, Impal, Adorco, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan, Jaime, Jun Pepito, a village councilor in Albuera, Leyte also included as respondents in the complaint were individuals identified only by their aliases namely 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).

The filing of the case prompted Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to place them on immigration watchlist on July 11 to prevent Lim and his co-accused from leaving the country to evade prosecution.

The DOJ has already summoned the respondents to appear at the preliminary investigation slated to begin on August 14 and 17 where they will be given a chance to air their side.

It would be recalled that Lim has been the subject of an investigation by the NBI last year after he was tagged as a drug lord by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte earlier identified Lim and Espinosa as among the drug lords operating in the Visayas.

Last July 2016, Duterte met with the Cebu-based businessman in Davao City and advised the latter to prove that he is not the Peter Lim identified as a member of a drug triad in the Visayas.

Espinosa is a son of late Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa who was allegedly involved in illegal drugs. The older Espinosa was killed by CIDG operatives last November 2016 inside a jail in Baybay, Leyte.

Adorco and Miro are known top aides of the Espinosas while Impal was identified by Kerwin as the supplier of illegal drugs in the Visayas.

Pepito, on the other hand, is one of Kerwin's men who would transport the drugs from Matnog , Sorsogon to Ormoc. Leyte.

Source: Philippine News Agency