Ejercito puzzled by dismissal of drug raps vs Lim, Espinosa

KERWIN Espinosa during his presentation to media by PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa (file image).

SENATOR JV Ejercito on Monday expressed puzzlement over a decision by state prosecutors to dismiss the drug trafficking charges filed against Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

“I am puzzled by the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ)” Ejercito said in a statement, especially since the son of slain drug suspect Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa has admitted transacting illegal drugs as early as 2005.

The young Espinosa’s admission was made before a Senate inquiry during which he said he earned up to P50 million a year dealing drugs, said Ejercito.

Mixed signals

“At the very least, this decision sends mixed signals to the public in terms of our resolve to wage war against anyone dealing with illegal drugs, regardless of stature in life and the friends they have in high places,” Ejercito said.

“I sincerely hope that the DOJ will continue to gather more concrete and competent evidence proving that respondents and other individuals are indeed involved in illegal drug activities,” he added.

The case was dismissed in a 41-page resolution approved by Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan on the basis of the “uncorroborated statements” of witness Marcelo Adorco which were not admitted as evidence.

Adorco was described in the resolution as an “evidently self-serving witness.”

“To our view, the above discrepancies in Adorco’s affidavits have seriously impaired their probative value and have casted serious doubt on their credibility,” the resolution said.

“His contradictory statements on important details simply eroded the integrity and veracity of his testimony,” it added.

No evidence

Also cleared were respondents Peter Co, Adorco, Max Miro, Lovely Impal, Ruel Malindangan, Jun Pepito, and several individuals identified through mere aliases.

The resolution said no object or illegal drugs were submitted by the CIDG to prove the respondents sold drugs.

“The dearth of complainant’s evidence and Adorco’s unreliability as a witness thus constrain us to dismiss the present complaint against the respondents,” the resolution read.

— John Henry Dodson

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