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Duterte to review Kerwin case

Aguirre may be penalized if drug suspects go scot-free


By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is determined to invoke his power of supervision over the Department of Justice (DOJ) and review the dismissal of the drug case filed against suspected big-time drug personalities including Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the 10th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit (FES10) at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on March 6, 2018. (ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)


The President has bared his next course of action after expressing dismay at the DOJ’s decision junking against suspected drug lord Espinosa despite his previous admission to involvement in the drug trade.

“I will invoke my power of supervision and control and will review dismissal,” the President said as quoted by his spokesman Harry Roque.

The President has also threatened to penalize Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II if Espinosa and Lim get away with their suspected drug offenses.

“Pag-nakawala yan si Lim at Espinosa, sya ang ipapalit ko. I can review that dismissal order. Nag-amin na nga sa Congress! Why not admit it as evidence against him?“ Roque said, quoting the President to Aguirre.

Following the President’s directive, Roque noted that Aguirre has ordered the creation of a “new investigation panel to review case vs Lim and Espinosa.”

The Philippine National Police (PNP) meantime is expected to ask DOJ to reconsider the dismissal of the drug charges filed against alleged big-time drug suspects.

“Update from Joint Command Conference: PNP will move to reconsider dismissal of charges versus Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa,” Roque said.

Roque earlier said drug case involving drug suspects Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim and other personalities was expected to be discussed in the security meeting called by the President.

Among the top government officials present in the meeting were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Interior and Local Government acting Secretary Eduardo Año and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

A panel of DOJ prosecutors recently recommended the dismissal of the drug charges against suspected drug personalities for supposed lack of evidence. The complaint was filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Some opposition groups have criticized the government for its alleged fake war on illegal drugs after exonerating the suspected drug lords.

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