Duterte warns Peter Lim: Better commit suicide than surrender alive

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Missing businessman and alleged Visayas drug lord Peter Lim is better off “committing suicide” than surrendering himself to Philippine authorities, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday, February 20.

“Peter Lim, if I were you, I would commit suicide. Never ever surrender to me alive. You commit suicide,” Duterte said, after signing the universal health care law.

Cebuano-Chinese Lim has been wanted by the Philippine government as early as August 2018, when he was ordered arrested by a Makati court after finding probable cause to hold him and a co-accused for the trial of drug charges. The same court released the hold departure order against Lim.

Cops, however, failed to find Lim in Cebu homes, triggering a manhunt.

In an ambush interview with reporters, Duterte said he believes Lim continues to be active in the illegal drug trade, regardless of whether he is in or out of the country.

This, Duterte said, makes Lim a threat to the country.

"[T]he network and the money laundering of Peter Lim is very much alive. So I'm just reiterating my warning here [that] this drug problem is a national security threat. Meaning to say, it can destroy the Philippines. And the orders are: Destroy the enemy," Duterte said. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.