MANILA -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP)- Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to submit their reply on September 12 in connection to their complaint filed against Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim, self-confessed drug dealer Rolan Kerwin Espinosa and several others for their alleged involvement in illegal drug operations in Central and Eastern Visayas.
Aside from Espinosa and Lim, convicted drug lord Peter Co 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.
During the continuation of hearing, CIDG lawyer Joseph Orsos presented witness Adorco to the DOJ panel composed of Assistant State Prosecutors Aristotle Reyes and John Michael Humarang and asked the panel to subscribe Adorco to his statement against Lim as part of their reply.
But CIDG lawyers were not ready with Adorco's affidavit and asked that Adorco be allowed to subscribe to the panel ahead of his sworn statement because he had to go to Leyte.
Adorco, who is identified by the police as Espinosa's right-hand man, identified Lim as the supplier of illegal drugs to their group for more than two years.
In his affidavit, Adorco said that from February 2013 to August 2015, Espinosa's group received at least 90 kilos of shabu sourced from Lim and Co.
He added that four similar transactions and deliveries with Lim as supplier allegedly took place in 2014, though the PNP-CIDG complaint did not indicate the amount of illegal drugs delivered.
Citing logistical limitations, Orsos asked the DOJ panel to allow Adorco to sign his affidavit before a state prosecutor in Leyte.
But Magilyn Loja, Lim's counsel, opposed Orsos' manifestation, pointing out that her client was required by Reyes and Humarang to physically subscribe to his counter-affidavit on August 24.
She also noted that Orsos had admitted that they were still preparing Adorco's supplemental affidavit and other pertinent documents.
They are asking that Adorco subscribes to a document that does not yet exist. This is highly irregular, Loja said as she pointed out that the police should provide both them and the prosecutors with a copy of the document that Adorco will subscribe.
They are doing this for convenience because Adorco will be going back to Leyte, she added.
Paano masasabing panel na voluntary ang execution ng document, na naiintindihan niya ang contents ng document kung hindi pa existing yung document? (How can the panel say that the execution of the document is voluntary, when he cannot understand the contents of the document and when the document is not even existing?) That is not proper, she told reporters.
Reyes denied the request of the CIDG lawyer as he immediately settled the issue by ordering the CIDG to ensure Adorco's presence at the next hearing on Sept. 12 to sign his reply affidavit before the panel of prosecutors.
He clarified that what CIDG would submit was actually Adorco's reply affidavit and not a supplemental affidavit as the latter would mean that there would be new allegations against Lim.
Peter Lim went here to subscribe his affidavit. The proper procedure is for you to again bring Adorco here and have him subscribe his (reply) affidavit, Reyes noted.
Last Aug. 24, Lim submitted to the investigating panel his counter-affidavit seeking dismissal of the charges of sale, administration, dispensation, trading, delivery and transportation of illegal drugs under Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act).
He vehemently denied the drug charges which he tagged as "baseless and nonsensical." He said he is never involved in illegal drug trade in Central Visayas as alleged by the PNP and never met Marcelo Adorco or Kerwin Espinosa and other respondents tagged in the illegal drug trade.
The businessman also again denied that he was the alias Jaguar in the government's narco-list, recalling that he even presented himself before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) earlier.
Espinosa and convicted drug lord Co also submitted their counter-affidavits on the criminal charges for violation of Section 26 (b) of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
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.
The complaint filed by the CIDG tagged Lim as the alleged supplier of illegal drugs to the group of Espinosa.
Source: Philippine News Agency