Aguirre junks dismissal of raps vs drug lords
After a "national uproar," Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has junked the dismissal of the complaints by the state prosecutors against suspected drug lords, Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim.
In a press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday, Aguirre said drug cases against Espinosa and Lim are under automatic review by his office.
"So since I already exercised my power under the automatic review, I issued an order yesterday vacating the dismissal of the case ? so much so that there is no such dismissal anymore. And I ordered that the case be ordered wide open for both parties ? the complainants and the respondents to file whatever evidence they have in support of their respective position," Aguirre said.
With this, even the motion for reconsideration filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group is now moot and academic, he said.
The PNP-CIDG filed the motion after the National Prosecution Service under the DOJ dismissed the complaints against Espinosa, self-confessed drug lord, and Lim, a "compadre" of President Rodrigo Duterte for weak evidence.
Duterte has expressed dismay over the dismissal of the complaints and warned Aguirre he would replace the two suspected drug lords in jail if the charges would not prosper.
Because of the "national uproar" and "backlash," Aguirre said this was the reason he also ordered the investigation against the state prosecutors who initially handled the case.
Aristotle Reyes, one of the prosecutors who dismissed the charges against the suspected drug lords, has been promoted as judge of the Lucena City Regional Trial Court in Quezon province. Celerina Monte/DMS