By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has presented new evidence to pin down Kerwin Espinosa and other suspected drug lords on drug charges slapped against them.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said that the new pieces of evidence were submitted to the new panel created by the Department of Justice to handle the case of Espinosa, Peter Lim, Peter Co and other respondents on drug trafficking charges.
“We filed a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) and of course we added new pieces of evidence on our motion and hopefully this would help strengthen the MR that we filed,” said Albayalde.
It was recalled that the PNP, through the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), filed a Motion for Reconsideration after the case against Espinosa was dismissed in December last year.
Then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre accused the CIDG of filing a weak case against the respondents and added that Espinosa’s admission during a Senate hearing that he engaged in drug trafficking was not included in pieces of evidence presented.
The dismissal of the case caused a public uproar especially when one of the members of the panel was reported to have been appointed as a judge. The incident eventually cost the position of Aguirre. A new panel was also created
Espinosa, on the other hand, filed a petition to dismiss the case before the new panel created by the new DOJ leadership.
Albayalde said that he would leave it to the panel to decide on the strength of the arguments and pieces of evidence presented by both camps.
“We will just wait for the decision of the court. It really depends on the appreciation of the court,” said Albayalde.
Despite the PNP-initiated drug case against Espinosa, the latter is reported to be still under the government’s Witness Protection Program despite the CIDG’s request to strip him off of that privilege.
Espinosa, it was recalled, was one of those who pinned down Senator Leila de Lima on allegations of involvement on illegal drugs trade inside the National Bilibid Prisons when she was still the Justice secretary.