Aguirre spells ‘doom’ for Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Morex­ette Marie B. Er­ram COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Vi­tal­iano Aguirre’s dis­missal of the drug cases against Ce­buano busi­ness­man Peter Lim and self con­fessed drug lord Ker­win Espinosa is a dis­ser­vice to the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“I think he’s just go­ing to bring down the rep­u­ta­tion of this ad­min­is­tra­tion. Ker­win, not guilty? Sus maryosep (Oh my god),” said Cebu City Mayor To­mas Os­meña.

“Aguirre is very, very lib­eral. He likes to for­give ev­ery­body. Imag­ine … he’s the one who dis­missed (the com­plaints) against David Lim Jr. And the rea­son is stupid. Tell Mr. Aguirre he’s re­ally stupid be­cause the rea­son he gave was to pro­duce the gun. But they did not pro­duce the gun, say­ing the videos that saw him shoot is not ev­i­dence. Ok, case dis­missed … So, I’m not sur­prised (with his de­ci­sion clear­ing Espinosa, Lim, et. al),” Os­meña added.

The mayor said Aguirre’s ac­tu­a­tions as DOJ sec­re­tary may just spell doom for the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion, which places an in­tensi- fied cam­paign against il­le­gal drugs on its front lines.

Asked if he would lobby be­fore the DOJ to re­verse its de­ci­sion, Os­meña in­stead sug­gested that the jus­tice de­part­ment get rid of Aguirre.

“I just want Aguirre out. I think he’s do­ing a dis­ser­vice in the ad­min­is­tra­tion,” added Os­meña.

But hours af­ter Os­meña made his com­ments, Aguirre ex­plained that the de­ci­sion to dis­miss the charges against Lim, Espinosa and the other ac­cused, was not yet fi­nal, the rea­son why they did not re­lease any copies of the de­ci­sion to the pub­lic.

He also said that the dis­missal of the com­plaint should serve as a wake-up call for the au­thor­i­ties to be ‘con­certed and thor­ough’.

“(The dis­missal of the com­plaint) is a wake-up call to all con­cerned that our ef­forts, from ap­pre­hen­sion to res­o­lu­tion to con­vic­tion must be con­certed and thor­ough,” Aguirre said.

The DOJ dis­missed the com­plaint against Lim and Espinosa and 19 other re­spon­dents in­clud­ing con­victed drug lord Peter Co, Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Lovely Adam Im­pal, Ruel Man­galin­dan and Jaime Jun Pepito, and in­di­vid­u­als iden­ti­fied only by their aliases namely Jeremy aka “Amang,” Ricky, War­ren, Tupie, Jojo, Yawa, Lapi, Roy­roy, Mar­lon, Bay, John Doe (an al­leged de­liv­ery man of Co), Peter Doe (an al­leged de­liv­ery man of Lim) and Robert Doe (also an al­leged de­liv­ery man of Lim) last De­cem­ber 20, 2017, cit­ing that there was no suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to prove the charges filed against the group.

The DOJ’s res­o­lu­tion stated that the po­lice re­lied on the tes­ti­mony of its wit­ness Adorco, whose tes­ti­mony, ac­cord­ing to the pros­e­cu­tors was “rife with in­con­sis­ten­cies and con­tra­dic­tions”. They also said that law en­forcers failed to present ad­di­tional ev­i­dence to sup­port and strengthen Adorco’s claims.

On the other hand, Aguirre said the dis­missal of the charges against Lim and Espinosa is but “a slight bump on our war against drugs”, and that it is “not a fi­nal ex­on­er­a­tion” of all the re­spon­dents’ crim­i­nal li­a­bil­i­ties.

“Un­der our present procedure in the DOJ (De­part­ment of Jus­tice), there are pos­si­ble av­enues to re­view this case, ei­ther by a mo­tion for re­con­sid­er­a­tion, or ul­ti­mately, by way of au­to­matic re­view by my of- fice,” Aguirre said.

He cited the case of the P6.4-bil­lion shabu ship­ment which was pre­vi­ously dis­missed in fa­vor of Cus­toms of­fi­cials but was re­filed with ad­di­tional ev­i­dence sub­mit­ted.



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