The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has submitted additional evidence to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with the continuation of preliminary investigation into drug charges against alleged big time druglords Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim, and several others.
During Monday’s hearing, Assistant Solicitor General Angelita Miranda presented to the DOJ panel of prosecutors a third supplemental affidavit executed by respondent-witness Marcelo Adorco on April 20, which allegedly bolstered Adorco’s claims that Espinosa and Lim met in Thailand in June 2015 for a drug transaction.
The OSG attached certifications issued by the Bureau of Immigration showing Espinosa, Adorco, along with other companions, boarded the same flight, 5J932 on June 5, 2015 to Thailand. A certified true copy of Adorco’s passport was attached to Adorco’s affidavit.
A photograph taken during said travel, printed on a mug, was also presented to the panel.
Certified true copies of 30 pages of a so-called ‘blue book’ containing alleged transactions involving the illegal drug trade of Espinosa and his father, slain Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr. were also submitted. In relation to this, a judicial affidavit, dated September 7, 2016, of Virbeca Hiyas Diano, the one who allegedly makes the entries in this ‘blue book,’ was submitted.
The pages from the ’blue book’ submitted to the DOJ contained alleged banks accounts with deposits ranging from P5,000-P6,000.
As evidence against Lim, the OSG submitted a computerized facial composite signed by Adorco and a pencil sketch of Lim, as described by Adorco.
Two affidavits executed by the older Espinosa prior to his death on November 5, 2016, which allegedly confirm his son’s involvement in the illegal drug trade, were also submitted as evidence. Mayor Espinosa allegedly talked about a ‘pink book’ also used in illegal drug transactions.
Certified true copies of the transcripts of stenographic notes of the inquiry conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs with the Committee on Justice and Human Rights on November 23, 2016 and December 5, 2016 which were not submitted as part of evidence against respondents during the preliminary investigation conducted by the first panel of prosecutors was submitted this time to the second panel.
In said transcript, the OSG said Espinosa “admitted that he is a distributor of illegal drugs” and referred to “Peter Go Lim @ ‘Jaguar’ and Peter Co as his suppliers of illegal drugs,” and also indicate that “his suppliers were Peter Co, Lovely Impal Adam and Peter Lim.”
The OSG committed to give all respondents copies of the transcripts after respondents’ lawyers demanded the same. The OSG initially provided the complete transcripts to the panel only, but the panel directed that all respondents be provided their copies.
The OSG also disputed a photograph submitted by Lim to the first panel of prosecutors that showed he was admitted at a hospital during the alleged Thailand trip in 2015.
The OSG presented an affidavit executed by Chief Inspector Levy Lozada of the Digital Forensic Division, PNP Anti-Cyber Crime Group, saying the date and other data appearing on said photograph may be altered. As proof, Miranda presented a photograph of herself and the OSG team prior to and after having been ‘altered.’
Adorco, who subscribed to his latest affidavit during Monday’s hearing, and Espinosa were on opposite sides of the room during the hearing. Lim and the other respondents were a no-show, but represented by counsels.
This controversial case involves the alleged distribution of at least 90-kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride (“shabu”) in regions 7 and 8 by Espinosa’s group in 2013 and 2015. The complaint also alleged that four similar drug transactions and deliveries, with an unspecified volume of “shabu,” with Lim as supplier, took place in 2014.
Aside from Espinosa, Lim, and Impal, the other respondents in the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s complaint are convicted druglord Peter Co, Marcelo L. Adorco, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan, Jun Pepito, Jermy alias ‘Amang,’ alias ‘Ricky,’ alias ‘Warren,’ alias ‘Tupie,’ alias ‘Jojo,’ alias ‘Jaime,’ alias ‘Yawa,’ alias ‘Lapi,’ alias ‘Royroy,’ alias ‘Marlon,’ alias ‘Bay.’
Respondents have up to May 15 to submit their respective counter-affidavits.
It may be recalled that this case became controversial after no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself expressed disgust at the first panel’s ruling junking the complaint. The issue is believed to be the reason behind the reported resignation of former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.