DOJ panel revives drug charges vs. Peter Lim

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 10) — State prosecutors on Friday recommended the filing of charges of illegal drug trading against suspected drug lord Peter Lim, who was earlier cleared by a different panel from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Lim is accused of supplying narcotics to self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa for distribution in the Visayas in violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Last month, the DOJ panel of prosecutors said the same charges of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade would be filed against Espinosa, convicted drug lord Peter Co, and three other suspects.

The decision on Lim's case came three weeks after he filed a motion for a separate preliminary investigation.

Prosecutors ruled against Lim based on Espinosa's admission at a Senate hearing that he was a supplier.  The panel also dismissed Lim's denial that he was the "Jaguar" named by President Rodrigo Duterte as part of a Chinese triad leading illegal drug operations in the Visayas.

The first DOJ panel had dropped the charges against all the suspects for lack of evidence. The decision put the department in hot water, with President Duterte  demanding why the case against Espinosa was dismissed despite his admission of his own guilt. 

Then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre ordered a reinvestigation before resigning from his post.