MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will exercise his power to review the dismissal of cases against alleged drug lords, the Philippine National Police said Monday.
The Chief Executive last week fumed against a decision of DOJ prosecutors to clear confessed drug trafficker Kerwin Espinosa, his alleged cohorts Peter Lim and Peter Co, and 19 others of charges filed by the police.
"He (Duterte) told me that he is going to use his power to review over resolutions coming out from the Department of Justice, lalong-lalo na iyung mga resolutions na nagdi-dismiss sa drug cases," PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said in a press briefing.
(He told me that he is going to use his power to review over resolutions coming out from the Department of Justice, especially the resolutions dismissing drug cases.)
Duterte, he said, made the statement when they attended the graduation rites of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) on Sunday.
Dela Rosa added that he has received information that prosecutors are set to dismiss a case against the alleged operators of a busted "mega shabu laboratory" in Virac, Catanduanes.
He lamented the PNP cannot succeed in leading the President's war on drugs without the cooperation of other agencies.
"Dapat magtutulong-tulungan kami, buong gobyerno... hindi maghahanapan ng butas para sa ikaka-dismiss ng kaso," he said.
(The whole of government should cooperate instead of finding holes for the dismissal of cases.)
The National Prosecution Service (NPS) had said it junked the "weak" case against Espinosa because the affidavit of the police's lone witness was rife with "material inconsistencies."
The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group said it did not use Espinosa's confession about his alleged drug dealings before a 2016 Senate inquiry because he recanted this.
The police said it will try anew to get Espinosa's confession for a supplemental motion of reconsideration to overturn the NPS ruling, as suggested by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.