‘STAGGERING AMOUNTS’

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11:43 PM August 2nd, 2017

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Personnel from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7) sent four more subpoenas to other persons in Cebu aside from businessman Peter Lim.
CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO

Complaint filed by CIDG says Peter Lim supplied kilos of shabu to Kerwin Espinosa

Cebu businessman Peter Lim supplied narcotics in “staggering amounts” to alleged drug kingpin Kerwin Espinosa for more than two years.

This was according to a police complaint filed before the Department of Justice and released to the media on Wednesday.

The judicial affidavit of Marcelo Adorco, an alleged drug personality who was arrested with four others in a sting operation in Albuera town, Leyte, on July 8, 2016 is one of the bases for the complaint for drug trafficking filed against Lim, Espinosa and five other respondents.

One such transaction involved the delivery of 50 kilos of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) which Lim allegedly handed to Espinosa at the parking lot of Cash & Carry supermarket in Makati City on June 7, 2015.

The pair had a successful business partnership which allowed them to control the narcotics trade in Central and Eastern Visayas provinces, the complaint stated.

At one point, they even flew to Thailand to discuss the terms of a drug shipment.

These were among the allegations contained in the complaint for drug trafficking filed by the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) against Lim, Espinosa and several others, most of them known only by their aliases.

The filing of the case prompted Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to place them on immigration watchlist on July 11 to prevent Lim and his co-accused from leaving the country to evade prosecution.

Conspiracy

In its July 5 complaint, a copy of which was released to the media only on Wednesday, the CIDG’s Major Crimes Investigation Unit informed Aguirre that Lim and the others should be charged with violation of Section 26(b) in relation to Section 5 of Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2000.

Based on the subpoena served to Lim last Tuesday, it would seem that Lim and the other respondents were not furnished a copy of the complaint against them, as the purpose of the subpoena was for them to attend the preliminary investigation and be given a copy of the complaint and other documents/evidence against them.

The offense involved conspiracy to commit “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals.”

“(Their) criminal conspiracy was continuously existing (and appears to have been consummated) in various places of Makati City to Regions 7 and 8 from February 2013 up to August 2015 at the very least,” read a portion of the complaint.

“(This) investigation clearly shows that conspiracy to sell, deliver, transport, trade and distribute shabu… existed between and among the respondents,” it added.

Subpoena

The DOJ had already subpoenaed them to attend the preliminary investigation set on Aug. 14 and 17.

Besides Lim and Espinosa, identified as respondents in the case were convicted drug lord Peter Co, alleged drug supplier Lovely Adam Impal, Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan and Jun Pepito.

Impal, who was tagged as the “drug queen of the south” and allegedly Espinosa’s biggest source of shabu, surrendered to Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Philippine National Police chief, in December last year.

Miro, on the other hand, is said to be Espinosa’s right hand man, surrendered to Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido who was then Albuera police chief, in September last year.

Espenido was moved to Ozamiz City to head the police station. He later headed the pre-dawn raid on the house of Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. on Sunday that killed the city’s chief executive and 14 others.

It is however unclear if Impal and Miro were still in police custody after their surrender.

CIDG-7 operatives are currently verifying the address of other respondents.

Supt. Royina Garma, CIDG Central Visayas director, said there were still four others to be summoned by the DOJ.

They were Cebuanos based in Cebu although one of them had already died, she added.

Garma said they were verifying the true names of the aliases and their addresses.

Judicial affidavit

The CIDG secured a lead in its investigation with the arrest of Adorco last year.

The police unit said Adorco identified Espinosa, who was supposedly also known as “Boss K,” and his father, slain Albuera mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., as the source of the illegal drugs and firearms seized from them.

The complaint said the “Espinosa Group” was then getting its supply of illicit drugs from Co, Impal and Lim for distribution in the provinces of Bohol, Samar, Northern Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran and Cebu.

Citing his judicial affidavit, the CIDG said Adorco “clearly stated” that Espinosa received 20 kilos of shabu from Co on Feb. 5, 2013, and a similar amount of illegal drugs from Lim just 11 days later.

Interestingly, Co was then already serving time at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

“Four other similar drug transactions happened also in 2014 with Peter Lim as their shabu supplier. All shabu deliveries as transacted, and pursuant to their drug conspiracy, happened in Cash & Carry (in) Makati City,” the CIDG said.

On June 4, 2015, it said Lim met with Espinosa and Adorco in Thailand regarding the delivery of 50 kilos of powdered meth at the Cash & Carry parking lot three days later.

“The Peter Lim who had supplied them staggering amounts of shabu is the same Peter Go Lim, a businessman from Cebu City, who was named by, and later surrendered to, President Duterte in July 2016,” the CIDG said.

“Indeed, there was widespread illegal drug trade in Regions 7 and 8 during the years of their existing conspiracy prompting no less than the President… to announce those involved in the illegal drug trade,” it added.

Records from the Bureau of Immigration showed that Adorco was in Thailand at the time of the supposed meeting, according to the CIDG.

“Verily, Adorco appears to be a close confidant of… Espinosa… Thus, Adorco’s knowledge and firsthand information on their drug operations… cannot be over emphasized,” the CIDG maintained.

Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said the DOJ was merely doing its job when it issued a subpoena to Lim.

While saying that he had a lot of misgivings about the current administration, Osmeña said President Duterte was “the best” in the campaign against illegal drugs.

“I have many misgivings about General Bato, Michael Dino (Presidential Assistant in the Visayas), of some people but when it comes to anti-drugs, Duterte is the best,” the mayor said.

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