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By: Nestle L. Semilla and Benjie B. Talisic August 20,2018 - 11:16 PM

Police officers and personnel from Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) search the house of businessman Peter Lim as they serve the warrant of arrest for Mr. Lim in Sto Niño Village, Barangay Banilad.

Police serve arrest warrant but find no trace on Lim;
Garma says intelligence reports show businessman has left Cebu

Clad in bullet-proof vests and armed with rifles, more than 20 policemen stormed the two houses owned by businessman Peter Lim in Cebu City on Monday.

But the alleged big time drug lord was nowhere to be found.

Senior Supt. Royina Garma, director of the Cebu City Police Office, said they didn’t expect to find Lim at any of his listed addresses.

She said they received an intelligence report that the businessman was hiding in Manila.

“Sa intelligence namin wala na siya diri (Based on our intelligence report, Lim is no longer here), but we still served the warrant of arrest as part of the
procedure,” she told reporters.

Two police teams served the arrest warrant simultaneously about 1 p.m. on Monday.

Police officers and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) personnel interrogate the caretaker of Peter Lim’s house in Sto. Niño Village, Barangay Banilad as they serve the warrant of arrest for the controversial businessman on Monday.

One team went to the ancestral home of Lim in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City. Another team went to the house of Lim at Sto. Niño Village in Barangay Banilad, also in Cebu City.

A housemaid received the policemen at the front gate of the businessman’s ancestral home and told them that Lim had not been residing there.

“Sukad-sukad, wala na daw niari si Peter Lim. Napulo na ka tuig. Iyaha ra daw mama ang nagpuyo dinhi. (Ever since, Peter Lim has not been here. It has been 10 years now. Only his mother lived there),” said Chief Insp. Dindo Juanito Alaras, chief of the Mabolo police station.

In an earlier interview, Lim said his mother already died.

In August 2015, Lim said he brought his ailing mother to Singapore for a medical checkup. He returned to Cebu two months later after his mom died.

The Mabolo police station was particularly ordered by the court to arrest Lim since the ancestral home was Lim’s last known address which falls under its jurisdiction.

Another police team also went to the Sto. Niño Village in Barangay Banilad where Lim owns a house.

But still, he was not there.

A caretaker of the house told the police that Lim had not returned home for over a year now, and that he did not know where his boss was.

Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said they would make a report to formally inform the Regional Trial Court Branch 65 in Makati City that Lim could no longer be found at his known addresses.

The report would pave the way for the issuance of an alias warrant on Lim which would be in effect until the businessman was arrested.

It could also be served anywhere in the country.

The arrest warrant issued by Judge Gina Bibat-Palamos of the Makati RTC Branch 65 on Aug. 14 was effective only for 10 days.

“We will continue to look for him in other places,” Garma said.

Sinas said they had no information on exactly where Lim was hiding.

But he added it was most likely in Manila.

“Accordingly, based on media accounts, Lim is in Manila to appeal his indictment at the Supreme court,” he said.

“How true is that? We do not know. We are just monitoring some of the news reports (about Lim),” he added.

Last week, Lim’s lawyers in Manila filed a petition for certiorari at the High Court to contest his indictment, saying the evidence presented against the businessman were nothing but hearsay.

Last Aug. 10, a panel of prosecutors from the Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended the filing of charges against Lim for violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, particularly for “selling, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of any dangerous drug.”

The DOJ used as a basis the testimony of self-confessed drug lord Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. before the Senate where Lim was identified as one of his suppliers of dangerous drugs.

In 2016, President Duterte publicly identified Lim as one of the biggest drug dealers in the country.

But Lim denied that he was into drug and maintained that he was not the Peter Lim named by the President.

Although he was no longer in contact with his boss, Lim’s spokesperson Dioscoro “Jun” Fuentes said he believed that the businessman was still in the country.

He pointed out that Lim could not travel abroad after the businessman presented his passport to the National Bureau of Investigation which investigated his alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

“I really have no knowledge about his whereabouts now,” he said in a phone interview.

A hold departure order was already issued by the court against Lim shortly after the charges against him were filed in court.

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TAGS: FOUND, Peter Lim

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