Philippine National Police Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde on Friday expressed confidence that the evidence against self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, convicted drug kingpin Peter Co, and several others can withstand scrutiny of the courts.
“I am glad that the DoJ [Department of Justice] found merit in the case filed by the CIDG [Criminal Investigation and Detection Group] against Kerwin Espinosa and several other respondents for violation of RA (Republic Act No.) 9165,” Albayalde said in a statement.
He added that the “the CIDG case buildup was consistent from the start” and that there was “damning evidence to indict Kerwin, et. al for the crime.”
“Rest assured the PNP will provide [the] DoJ with all available evidence and information to establish a strong case against the respondents,” Albayalde said.
Earlier this week, the DoJ reversed its earlier ruling and indicted Espinosa and Co and several others on the drug complaint filed by the PNP.
In a resolution, the prosecution panel, composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera and Anna Noreen Devanadera, and Prosecution lawyer Herbert Calvin Abugan, found sufficient evidence to charge Espinosa, Co, Lovely Imperial and Ruel Malindagan for violation of Section 26 (B) in relation to Section 5, Article II of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Acts of 2002.
The panel gave weight to the testimonies of Adorco, who identified Espinosa, Co, Imperial and Malindagan as his cohorts to charge them with conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade.
The panel also considered Espinosa’s confession, admitting that he traded in drugs in Central Visayas.
In his testimony, Marcelo Adorco, Espinosa’s driver, claimed that businessman Peter Lim, another respondent in the drug case, had supplied narcotics in “staggering amounts” to Espinosa for more than two years.
The complaint was filed by the PNP CIDG.
It was junked on Dec. 20, 2017 by the department, then led by secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, but was later reinstated.
As this developed, Malacañang has expressed elation over the DOJ decision to indict Espinosa, Co and their alleged associates.
“The Palace is very pleased that the wheels of justice are turning to hold them accountable,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
Last Thursday, a DOJ panel of prosecutors found probable cause to file charges against Espinosa, Co, Marcelo Adorco, Lovely Impal, and Ruel Malindagan.
The new prosecution panel is composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera, Anna Noreen Devanadera, and Prosecution Attorney Herbert Calvin Abuga.
Espinosa, Co and the other respondents will be charged before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City. With PNA