In a surprise twist, the Department of Justice has indicted Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim on charges of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading on Friday.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera and Anna Noreen Devanadera and Prosecution Attorney Herbert Calvin Abugan penned the DOJ resolution that charged Lim with a violation of Section 26 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
The DOJ charged confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa, inmate Peter Co, Lovely Impal and Ruel Malindagan for conspiracy to engage in illegal drug trade. However, last year, the DOJ dismissed the case of drug trading against the accused, citing weak evidence presented by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. This dismissal drew flak from the public.
It was former justice chief Vitaliano Aguirre II who stood by the prosecutors and said that the Philippine National Police should have asked for a transcript of Espinosa’s confession at the Senate. He resigned amid the controversy.
In the resolution released Friday, the panel gave weight to Espinosa’s confession at the Senate—the transcript of which was submitted to the investigating prosecutors for the new probe—and Marcelo Adorco’s positive identification of Lim.
Citing the prosecutors, the DOJ said that the “gravamen” or the most serious part of allegation in the charge of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading is the “agreement to trade in drugs.”
DOJ said, “the drugs themselves as corpus delicti (“body of crime”) of drug trading are not essential under Section 26(b) of the law,” the DOJ added. They also said Lim’s defense that he is not “Jaguar” is “immaterial” as he was positively identified by Adorco and Espinosa.
“The alibi that he could not have possibly been in Thailand during the time attested by Adorco has to yield to the positive and affirmative statements of said witness,” the DOJ said.
The charges were filed before the Makati court.