The second panel of prosecutor created by the Department of Justice has reversed the ruling of its predecessor and ordered the filing of charges against self-confessed druglord Kerwin Espinosa, convicted drug lord Peter Co and three others.
In a statement to the press on Thursday, July 19, the Office of the Prosecutor General said it has found probable cause to indict Espinosa and Co, as well as Marcelo Adorco, Lovely Impal, and Ruel Malindagan for conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading.
The panel said it found the testimony of lone witness Adorco sufficient to prove the four accused were his cohorts in the illegal drug trade in Visayas.
“The panel similarly relied on the confession of respondent Kerwin Espinosa that he traded in drugs during the relevant periods as distributor in Regions 7 and 8,” the panel added.
The first panel of prosecutors dismissed the charges against the five accused and Peter Lim; angering President Rodrigo Duterte who orderd a review of the decision.
Former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre himself reversed the decision but prove too late to save himself fro Duterte’s ire. He resigned as DOJ chief weeks later and replaced by Menardo Guevarra.
Meanwhile, the panel of prosecutors, led by Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, clarified Peter Lim was not included in the indictment since he has a pending motion for a separate preliminary investigation with the DOJ which has yet to be resolved.