PACC to Duterte: Suspend fiscals who junked drug charges vs Lim, Espinosa
MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the suspension of prosecutors who dismissed the drug and conspiracy charges against Peter Lim, Kerwin Espinosa, and their accomplices.
"The commission en banc has recommended for (sic) the preventive suspension of all the prosecutors who handled the case," PACC spokesperson and commissioner Greco Belgica said in a briefing on Tuesday, March 27.
Their recommendation covers:
- Assistant State Prosecutor Michael Humarang, one of the two lawyers in the prosecution panel who recommended the case's dismissal
- Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Rassendell Gingoyon, approving prosecutor
- Former Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan, approving prosecutor
The commission said it would have recommended as well the suspension of former assistant state prosecutor Aristotle Reyes, but he is no longer under the executive department. President Rodrigo Duterte appointed him regional trial court judge in Lucena City.
They recommended instead a lifestyle check on Reyes.
The PACC alleged the prosecutors violated Republic Act 3019 for not holding a "clarificatory hearing" before dismissing the case filed by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group. (READ: Dela Rosa to DOJ panel: 'Konsensiya naman')
The prosecution panel dismissed the charges against Lim and Espinosa in December 2017, but it was only publicized in early March after judiciary reporters obtained a copy of the decision. – Rappler.com