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New panel to probe Peter Lim, et al. next month

By Jeffrey Damicog

A new panel of prosecutors is set to start its preliminary investigation on the drug complaints filed against suspected drug lord Peter Lim and his co-respondents this April.

The new panel has issued subpoenas to all respondents requiring them to attend its first hearing on April 12 at the Department of Justice (DoJ).

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has formed the new panel of prosecutors composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera and Anna Norren Devanadera, and Prosecution Attorney Herbert Calvin Abugan.

Aguirre made the move after being criticized over the resolution of the first panel of prosecutors issued on December 20, 2017 dismissing the drug complaints filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s Major Crimes Investigation Unit (PNP-CIDG-MCIU).

In his order dated March 19, Aguirre said “the Resolution dated December 20, 2017 dismissing this instant case be vacated and the above-mentioned case be remanded to a new panel of prosecutors for purposes of conducting the continuation of the preliminary investigation/clarificatory hearing and to allow the complainant and respondents to submit additional pieces of evidence in support of their respective positions.”

Lim and his co-respondents have been accused of violating Republic Act 9165 (The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.)

Other respondents in the case are self-confessed drug lord Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa, convicted drug lord Peter Co, alleged drug supplier Lovely Impal, arrested alleged drug dealer Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan, Jun Pepito, and several others who are only known through the aliases Amang, Ricky, Warren, Tupie, Jojo, Jaime, Yawa, Lapi, Royroy, Marlon, and Bay.

The PNP based its complaint on the sworn statements issued by Adorco who was arrested on July 8, 2016 during a drug buy-bust operation in Albuera, Leyte. Adorco has worked for Espinosa.