No proof against Peter Lim
PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Monday admitted that they don’t have enough evidence to prove that Cebu businessman Peter Lim is a drug lord.
“So far, what we have are just intelligence reports that there’s a drug lord in Cebu with the name of Peter Lim. But we know that intelligence reports don’t hold water in court,” he told reporters in a news conference at the Police Regional Office (PRO-7) headquarters.
Until they can secure strong evidence against Lim, Dela Rosa said they could not file any case against the businessman.
“I’m not saying that Peter Lim is not a drug lord. And I’m not saying that he’s a drug lord. But I don’t think intelligence reports would just come out of the blue. Drug lords would always deny their involvement in illegal drugs,” he said.
Dela Rosa said he won’t judge the Cebuano businessman who met and talked with President Rodrigo Duterte at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office in Davao City last July 15.
Lim was told by the President to submit himself to investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation to prove he is not a drug lord.
The NBI is now investigating the identity of a “Peter Lim,” one of the drug lords named by President Duterte as being under the protection of a retired general.
“The NBI is doing what needs to be done, to establish the identity, to establish culpability,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II told reporters Monday.
In Cebu, there are already 400 persons named “Peter Lim”; but nationwide, there are 4,000 people named “Peter Lim.”
Aguirre said once the NBI identifies the drug lord “Peter Lim” and files a complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ), only then will they conduct a preliminary investigation. “Once there is evidence of culpability, then, we are going to investigate after they file the case before the DOJ,” Aguirre said.
Dela Rosa admitted it is difficult to pin down drug lords through a court battle since they have connections in the prosecution service, judiciary and even jail offices.
“They come in clean. You can’t pin them down through legal ways,” he said.
If he chanced upon a drug lord, Dela Rosa said he would rather kill him immediately.
“For several years, these drug lords have reigned. They buy our prosecutors, judges, prison officials and even the media. Now is the time to kill them. This is not a joke. This is war,” he said.
“If I see one of them now, and if no one is watching, or there is no CCTV (closed circuit television), I will really shoot them,” he said.
When informed by a television anchor that Lim has been enjoying police security, Dela Rosa didn’t mince words and ordered all policemen to stay away from the Cebuano businessman.
“Don’t provide him (Lim) any security. He’s not cleared yet even if he went to see the President. Stay away from him,” he said in a message to policemen.
Lim, who owns at least five business entities in Cebu, said he’s not a drug lord even if he was earlier a subject of a congressional inquiry for his alleged involvement in drugs in the late 1990s.
Former Rep. Antonio Cuenco of Cebu City’s south district, who was House committee chair on dangerous drugs at that time, had called for the House inquiry in 2001 to help formulate what is now known as the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002.
Two former employees – Bernard Liu and Ananias Dy – testified against the Lim brothers during the congressional inquiry, detailing the businessmen’s involvement in illegal drugs.
But Cuenco said the Lim brothers were later cleared after the National Bureau of Investigation failed to validate the information against the Lim brothers.
Liu and Dy, on the other hand, were killed separately.
Liu and Dy worked at the Hilton Heavy Equipment owned by Peter and Wellington Lim.
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