What Pinoy dentist's death means for case vs US senator

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Aug 28 2014 02:48 PM | Updated as of Aug 28 2014 10:48 PM

 

DALY CITY, California – Dr. Wilson Lim, the Filipino dentist who was accused alongside State Senator Leland Yee of setting up an arms deal that involved militants in the Philippines, died of cardiac arrest Monday night.

Lim, a Daly City resident, was among the 29 people indicted in a corruption scandal involving Senator Yee.

Criminal defense attorney and former mayor of Daly City Mike Guingona said that while Dr. Lim’s passing is tragic, his family can feel at ease since Lim will no longer be a part of the prosecution.

"From a legal perspective, the charges against him will be dropped," said Guingona. "His family is not criminally liable for anything he has done, and he no longer, as he is expired, is not going to be liable for any criminal liability."

Guingona said that because of Dr. Lim’s passing, the prosecution may need to re-strategize as they move forward with trying Sen. Yee and the other defendants.

"It all depends on how critical the testimony of Dr. Lim was going to be in the cases against his co-defendants," said Guingona. "In reading the indictment, I’m sure they could get those statements in other ways specifically because of the fact a lot of the statements were made to percipient witnesses in the case. So they may be able to get that testimony in any way."

Meanwhile in Daly City, a personal friend of the Lim family, Adee Angeles, said that Lim’s involvement in the alleged accusations eventually led to his death especially since he was already suffering from health problems and had a decline in finances.

"When the case came in, he was so depressed and stressed out because he has no record," said Angeles.

Angeles was able to speak with Lim’s family since his passing.

"They cannot believe that her husband and their father have passed away," she said. "Eventually, it also helps. It’s also a blessing because they know that their father was suffering so much because of his ailments."

Despite the allegations, Angeles continues to believe that Dr. Lim was a good man who got caught up in a bad situation.

"He was in a wrong place at a wrong time when this happened," said Angeles. "Dr. Lim is a very kind man and he’s innocent. He has no record if you check his background. He wanted to help the Filipino-American community as much as possible."

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