MANILA - Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said Thursday the dismissal of cases against big-time drug personalities prove that President Rodrigo Duterte may have lied to the public, particularly on the case of businessman Peter Lim.
“Because the President was the one who identified Peter Lim as a drug lord and therefore the action of the DOJ (Department of Justice) essentially said either the President lied or didn’t have sufficient evidence when he identified Peter Lim as a drug lord,” Hilbay said.
Weeks after assuming office in 2016, Duterte identified Lim as one of the biggest drug dealers in the country and even threatened to kill him.
But days later, Lim, a “kumpare” or co-wedding sponsor and a known campaign contributor of the President, met with President Duterte in Davao City to deny his involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Hilbay said the DOJ prosecutors have practically cleared Lim, Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Co and others in a resolution approved December last year, only to be revoked by a review order two months after.
He said the review order of Aguirre is only a political move.
“The fact that the prosecutor general already declared there is no probable cause against these drug personalities means that any action of the Department of Justice reversing that action will be purely political and a response to the outrage of the public,” he said.
Hilbay also echoed criticisms that Espinosa should not have been cleared as he confessed under oath that he was a drug dealer.