PNP to DOJ: Reverse dismissal of Peter Lim, Kerwin Espinosa charges

Rambo Talabong

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PNP to DOJ: Reverse dismissal of Peter Lim, Kerwin Espinosa charges

Alecs Ongcal

(UPDATED) Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa vows to use 'all legal remedies' to hold the suspected big-time drug personalities liable

FOR APPEAL. Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa presents Kerwin Espinosa to reporters. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) filed a motion for reconsideration to reverse the Department of Justice (DOJ) decision clearing Peter Lim, Kerwin Espinosa, and several suspected high-profile drug personalities.

“It’s on appeal. We filed a motion for reconsideration in the junking of the case of Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa. We will use all legal remedies to make sure they are held liable,” Dela Rosa said in a Camp Crame news conference on Monday, March 12.

What happened: This comes after the media learned that the DOJ had dismissed the cases of the suspected drug personalities last December 20, after a panel found “weak” evidence against them.

Lim and Espinosa were tagged as drug lords by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte. The President has since said he himself would review the dismissal of the charges.


What’s at stake for the PNP: The Espinosa and Lim case had been touted by the PNP as one of its biggest achievements in its unrelenting war against illegal drugs.

Dela Rosa himself repeatedly mentioned Espinosa as a big catch when critics branded the drug war as a crackdown solely targeting the poor. (READ: This is where they do not die)

What the case is about: The drug charges were handled by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the PNP unit tasked to pursue high-profile crimes.

Holding on to the testimony of big-time drug runner Marcelo Adorco, the CIDG pinned down Lim as a supplier of “staggering amounts of shabu,” and Espinosa as an operator of a Central Visayas drug network.

The DOJ, however, found Adorco to be a witness of poor credibility, leading to the erosion of the CIDG case. –

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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.