By Kristine Joy V. Patag
THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) on Monday, Aug. 14, conducts its preliminary investigation hearing on two high-profile cases as it tackles complaints against businessman and alleged drug lord Peter Lim, and suspected members of the terrorist Maute group.
Mr. Lim is set to be summoned to the DoJ today, at 10:00 a.m. for the preliminary investigation on his alleged violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
Assistant State Prosecutors Aristotle Reyes and John Michael Humarang head the investigation on the complaint filed by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).
A subpoena was served at the residence of Mr. Lim last Aug. 2. His family, through his daughter Caryl Lim, earlier issued a statement that they welcome the investigation as it is an “opportunity to finally clear his name from these malicious and false accusations.”
Also expected to appear before Messrs. Reyes and Humarang today are Roland “Kerwin” Espinosa, Jr., convicted drug lord Peter Co, Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Lovely Adam Impal, Ruel Malindangan and Jun Pepito.
Mr. Espinosa is currently under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the DoJ.
At 2:00 p.m., the DoJ will hold the preliminary investigation hearing on the rebellion complaints filed against 58 suspected Maute members and their alleged recruiter, Nur Supian of the Moro National Liberation Front.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter L. Ong led the panel of state prosecutors in conducting the inquest proceeding against the 59 last July 28.
The suspects, who are currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, are expected to submit their counter-affidavit today.
The Supreme Court (SC) has granted Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II’s request to move the trial away from Cagayan de Oro City — currently under martial law — citing threats to the prosecutors.
Once the case reaches court trial, it will be handled by the Taguig Regional Trial Court (RTC) following the SC’s order.