PNP stands by strength of proof against Kerwin, Peter Lim

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has already sought a review of the dismissal of drug trading charges it filed against businessman Peter Lim, self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa and other drug personalities before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao told GMA News Online that the CIDG believed it had strong evidence against the respondents contrary to the ruling of the state prosecutors.

Asked if the PNP would agree that it had “weak evidence” against the drug personalities, Bulalacao said: “Tatangapin natin ‘yung wisdom ng decision nila pero sa PNP hindi nga ito namin tinatangap.”

“Kaya nagfile kami ng petition for automatic review,” Bulalacao said.

Bulalacao said that the dismissal of the complaints was only a “temporary setback” as the PNP would continue to pursue the case.

“‘Yung news na ‘yan syempre malungkot kami dahil sa nangyari, considering na major campaign ‘yan ng ating government. Kaya lang ayaw kong pagusapan natin ang detalye dahil yung CIDG… nagfile ng petition, nakiusap kay DOJ na magkaroon ng automatic review of the case,” Bulalacao said.

“Alam naman kasi natin na this is a major campaign of the government, sa ating illegal drugs. And these people are primary, I mean they are primary players and high value targets on illegal drugs kaya kailangan gumawa kami ng paraan para talagang magkaroon ng linaw itong kaso na ito, as much as possible…ma-convict,” he said.

In a 41-page resolution approved by Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan dated December 20, 2017, state prosecutors said that the “uncorroborated statements” of the complainant’s witness, Marcelo Adorco, could not be admitted as evidence against the respondents.

The resolution described Adorco 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.

Senators have already scored the decision of state prosecutors, with Senator Grace Poe saying that she was disturbed by the basis upon which the DOJ panel made its recommendation to dismiss the drug charges against Espinosa and others.

Senator JV Ejercito, meanwhile, for his part, said that the resolution sent mixed signals in relation to the Duterte administration’s seriousness in going after drug lords in the country.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, however, said that the dismissal of the drug charges was not yet final.

“Suffice it to say that the current status of the case against the respondents Peter Lim et al., does not mean that it is a final exoneration of their respective criminal liabilities,” Aguirre said in a statement.

GMA News Online has sought the comment of CIDG chief Director Roel Obusan but he has yet to reply as of posting.