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Palace to Peter Lim: Surrender!

 

By ARGYLL CYRUS B. GEDUCOS

 

MALACAÑANG has called on Cebu-based businessman and alleged drug lord Peter Lim to surrender to the authorities and prove his innocence in court.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement as the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) work to find the fugitive.

A Makati court last week issued an arrest warrant against the businessman for allegedly conspiring to trade illegal drugs.

In press briefing, Roque said that even if Lim decides to surrender or not, the authorities will still capture him and get to the bottom of his involvement in the illegal drug trade.

“We’re asking Peter Lim, please surrender. If you are innocent, prove your innocence in court. You will be given your day in court. I’ve just asked him to surrender,” he said Thursday.

“I’m just saying if you don’t surrender, we will still get you. But if you’re innocent, then, we guarantee that you will be given your day in court,” he added.

Roque assured that Lim does not have to worry of becoming a victim of injustice, if that is the businessman’s concern.

“I think we have proven to the whole world that we have an independent judiciary and you have nothing to fear by way of being a victim of injustice. We have competent courts so I think he should surrender,” he said.

The Palace official, meanwhile, assured that he would share information if there are updates from the authorities who are pursuing Lim who is believed to be still in the country.

“There is no information that he has left [the country],” he added.

Roque also said that there is no effort on the part of Lim to reach out to Duterte.

“None at all. I repeat, I think the most that he had was there was an occasion where they stood as wedding sponsors. But the President does not personally know Peter Lim,” he said.

Last week, the PNP and the NBI confirmed that they have been looking for Lim. The PNP said that they have already formed a tracker team to find the alleged drug lord.

However, the PNP asked the public to not be shy in providing any information which may lead to Lim’s arrest.

“We have tracker teams, actually, running after him. So that’s why we appeal to the public if ever you have any information that would lead to the whereabouts of Peter Lim, we would be happy to look into it,” PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Bong Durana said in a Palace press briefing last week.

Meanwhile, NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said that NBI regional and district directors have been already ordered to hunt down Lim who was named by President Duterte as a drug lord in 2016.

Lim was one of the drug personalities who were initially cleared by the Department of Justice (DoJ) of his criminal liability in the drug charges pressed against him. However, early this month, the DoJ reversed its decision and charged Lim with two counts of conspiracy to trade illegal drugs.

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