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Aguirre: Kerwin can be state witness

Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II said yesterday that self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa may be accepted as state witness against businessman Peter Lim and several other persons charged with violations of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Aguirre said Espinosa may decide to execute an affidavit that would detail Lim’s participation in the illegal drugs trade and, thus, may get immunity from prosecution.

During last year’s Senate inquiry into the illegal drugs trade at the National Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City, Espinosa tagged Lim as the supplier of the prohibited drugs in Central Visayas.

If Espinosa is qualified to be a state witness, he can be discharged as an accused before the actual trial or during the trial of the case, Aguirre said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice starts the preliminary investigation of the cases filed against Espinosa, Lim, and several others for violation of RA No. 9165 filed by the Philippine National Police. (Rey G. Panaligan)