MANILA- Alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday to dismiss the drug charges against him earlier junked but later reinstated by the agency following heavy criticism.
Espinosa, in his response-affidavit, insisted that the there is a lack of evidence linking him to the illegal drug trade, and claimed that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) failed to produce any evidence of narcotics against him.
In March, prosecutors dismissed the charges against Espinosa, Peter Lim, and several others due to "weak evidence."
The dismissal came despite Espinosa's sworn statement during a 2016 Senate hearing, where he tagged Lim and another high-profile inmate Peter Co as his supposed narcotics suppliers and named several police officials as his protectors.
In his latest response-affidavit, Espinosa argued that his previous testimony at the Senate “does not prove that I am a drug lord.”
The dismissal of charges caused public outrage and angered President Rodrigo Duterte leading former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to order a new investigation into Espinosa and Lim's drug case, leaving it “wide open” for new evidence and testimonies.
Amid public criticism, Aguirre resigned from his post and was replaced by Menardo Guevarra.