FILE PHOTO: Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has scrapped the dismissal of drug charges against self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa and other alleged drug lords such as Peter Lim, Peter Co, and others.
For now, the justice department is giving the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the accused, enough time to submit new sets of evidence.
Among those that can be submitted to the DOJ are the transcript of Espinosa’s travel records and his admission before the Senate hearing that he is a drug dealer.
“The motion for reconsideration pending before I assumed the power of automatic review is now deemed moot and academic,” Aguirre said.
The official added that he will have a lawyer that will focus on the gathering of evidence and the investigation of the PNP on the cases.
PNP said they are preparing the evidence that will pin down Espinosa on his involvement in illegal drug operations.
PNP Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) Director PCSupt. Albert Ferro said that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has already obtained a copy of the extrajudicial confession or the evidence of Espinosa’s admission in November 2016 that he is involved in the illegal drug operations.
“The Senate transcript is actually same with the extrajudicial confession of Kerwin because when it was presented, Kerwin had no prepared speech so his judicial affidavit was presented,” said PNP-DEG Legal and Investigation Division chief PSupt. Enrico Rigor.
Meanwhile, Aguirre admitted that some prosecutors were unhappy about his order to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a probe on those who are involved in the case dismissal.
Despite this, the official said that he will not stop the investigations.
“Naiintindihan ko iyong (I understand) where they are coming from. But they should also understand that because of the backlash caused by some people with ill-motives coupled with politics, nagkaroon po ng hindi magandang perception ang public dito sa isyung ito (the public had a negative perception on this issue),” Aguirre said. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue