Alleged kingpins spared from Philippines' war on drugs

Alleged kingpins spared from Philippines' war on drugs

Alleged kingpins spared from Philippines' war on drugs

Adorco claimed to be a close confidante of the Espinosas after meeting Kerwin in prison in 2011, and said he had a notebook that contained the list of people who had illegal drug transactions with the Espinosas.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II created on Wednesday a special panel to resolve the motion for reconsideration from the PNP-CIDG of an earlier decision by prosecutors dismissing the complaints against alleged drug lords Peter Lim, Peter Co, Kerwin Espinosa and several others.

"Indeed, for an evidence to be believed, it must proceed not only from the mouth of a credible witness, but must be credible in itself as to hurdle the test of conformity with the knowledgeable and common experience of mankind", read the resolution approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Rassenell Rex Gingoyon and Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr.

Section 26 (b) is an attempt or conspiracy for the sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of any risky drug and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical.

The DOJ held that Adorco's affidavits are "unworthy of consideration" due to inconsistencies and contradictions.

Lim was a businessman who was included in President Rodrigo Duterte's narcolist for allegedly masterminding the drug trade in Central Visayas. Supposedly members of the Chinese triad, Co was operating in Metro Manila and Luzon, while Lim in the Visayas.

The Philippine National Police, in a motion for reconsideration filed on February 22, had asked the DOJ to reverse the dismissal of charges against Lim, Espinosa, and several others.

Aguirre said in a radio interview the panel's decision was not final and still subject to an appeal and an automatic review by his office.

Espinosa told Senate hearings he gave millions of pesos in drug money to police officers, generals, and other government officials, including then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, in exchange for the protection of his illegal drug trade business.

The prosecutors' decision - dated December 20 but known by journalists only this week - to dismiss the complaints against Lim, Co, Espinosa et al. was met with outrage from many quarters, with critics of President Duterte's drug war policy saying it showed his campaign is "fake" and selective, targetting only poor, small suspects and political foes like De Lima.

Only some of the respondents in the case are in government custody.

Espinosa (left) is presented to the media by Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, right, upon arrival from Abu Dhabi in 2016.

August 14, 2017 - The preliminary investigation into Lim and Espinosa's case begins.

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