Suspected drug lord and Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim did not show up Tuesday at the Department of Justice during the preliminary investigation on the drug complaint filed by the Philippine National Police against him, self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and several others because of the threat to his life.
Lim along with other respondents are supposed to submit their counter-affidavits, but his lawyer Magilyn Loha told the panel of prosecutors that Lim could not come to submit his counter-affidavit due to threat to his life.
Loha said that just last March 24, Lim’s brother, Wellington, was ambushed but survived.
“We could not risk that he brought here because of the threat,” Loha told the probers.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, who chaired the DOJ’s panel of prosecutors handling the drug case, gave Lim and his co-respondents until May 30 to appear at the DOJ and submit their respective counter-affidavits.
However, Espinosa appeared during the preliminary investigation hearing and file his counter-affidavit.
Aside from Lim and Espinosa, the other respondents include convicted drug lord Peter Co, alleged drug supplier Lovely Impal, alleged drug dealer Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan, Noel “Jun” Pepito, and 11 others, only known by their aliases “Amang, Ricky, Warren, Tupie, Jojo, Jaime, Yawa, Lapi, Royroy, Marlon, and Bay.”
Impal and Co also failed to attend the hearing because they are both incarcerated: Impal at the Iligan City Jail, and Co at the New Bilibid Prison.
The investigating prosecutors will issue an order to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Corrections to present Impal and Co, in the next hearing on May 30.
Lim’s co-accused Miro and Pepito died in separate incidents.
In its complaint, the PNP accused Lim and his co-respondents of violating Section 26 (b) in relation to Section 5 (Sale, Trading, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Distribution and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals) of Republic Act 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The PNP anchored its complaint on the sworn statements issued by Adorco who was arrested on July 8, 2016 during a drug buy-bust operation in Albuera, Leyte.