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Palace, PNP laud DoJ ruling vs Espinosa, et al.

By MARTIN SADONGDONG and ARGYLL CYRUS GEDUCOS

Malacañang and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have lauded the decision of the Department of Justice (DoJ) to finally indict self-confessed drug dealer Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa, convicted drug trafficker Peter Co, and their alleged accomplices.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Malacañang is elated that high-profile drug personalities like Espinosa and Co will be held accountable for conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade.

“The Palace is very pleased that the wheels of justice are turning to hold them accountable,” Roque said.

The DoJ announced Thursday that the second panel of prosecutors who reviewed the case of Espinosa and his co-accused issued a resolution recommending the filing of a case of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade against them.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said in a statement that the decision only proved that the case filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) against Espinosa, Co, alleged dealer Marcelo Adorco, supplier Lovely Impal and Ruel Malindagan could stand on its own and the pieces of evidence presented to the court were sufficient.

“I am glad that DoJ found merit in the case filed by the CIDG against Kerwin Espinosa and several other respondents for violation of RA 9165,” Albayalde said.

“The CIDG case build-up was consistent from the start. There was damning evidence to indict Kerwin, et al. for the crime,” he added.

The decision was a complete turnaround from the first ruling that the DoJ, then under Vitalliano Aguirre II, made in March 2018 where the case was dismissed by the preliminary investigation panel due to “weak evidence.”

Aguirre earned criticisms from the public and even from President Duterte, himself, because of this. By April, he resigned from his post.

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