Aguirre junks dismissal of charges vs. Espinosa, Lim

MANILA Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday said he has ordered the scrapping of the dismissal of charges against self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim and their accomplices.

Under his department order, Aguirre has also formed a new panel that will look into the resolutions by the National Prosecution Panel that dismissed the drug cases.

So I issued a department order yesterday vacating the dismissal of the case so much so that there is no dismissal anymore, Aguirre told the Palace media.

With his order, Aguirre said drug cases have been made wide open for both parties the complainants and the respondents to file whatever evidences they have in support of their respective position.

Aguirre explained the dismissal of the case was prematurely made to the public as the Office of the Secretary of DOJ was still waiting for decision of the motion for reconsideration filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

The Office of the Secretary has not yet exercised his power under the automatic review, he said.

He said the prosecution team could have strengthened the drug cases had they corroborated them with more pieces of evidence including transcript of Espinosa's admission that he is a drug lord in a Senate inquiry.

Aguirre said Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Bato Dela Rosa has admitted that CIDG failed to present strong evidence against the drug lord suspects.

The dismissal of the drug cases has irked President Rodrigo Duterte and created public uproar, prompting Aguirre to form new panel to review the resolutions.

Aguirre said dismissal has also created bad perception due to ill motives coupled with politics by some individuals.

The DOJ chief clarified the new prosecutors are not back to zero, saying both parties have just been ordered to submit additional pieces of evidence in support of their respective positions.

The new panel will conduct the continuation of the investigation, he said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency