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DOJ picks panel of prosecutors to handle latest raps vs Espinosa

By Jeffrey Damicog

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has picked a panel of prosecutors that will conduct the preliminary investigation on the criminal complaint against alleged drug lords Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa and Peter Go Lim along with five others concerning their alleged involvement in the narcotics trade in Cebu City.

The office of Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva said the panel is composed of State Prosecutor Bryan Jacinto Cacha and Assistant State Prosecutor Michael Vito Cruz.

The panel could not yet proceed with the preliminary investigation after Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ordered the closure of all prosecution offices nationwide during the duration of the enhanced community quarantine.

The National Bureau of Investigation-Task Force Anti-Illegal Drugs (NBI-TFAID) filed the complaint before the DOJ last Feb. 26 for the conduct of a preliminary investigation.

In its complaint, the NBI-TFAID recommended to Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento that the seven respondents be charged in court for violating Sections 3(O), 3(Q), 3(R), 3(JJ) and 26 of Republic Act 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Aside from Espinosa and Lim, those who have been named as respondents in the case are convicted illegal drugs trader Wu Tuan Yuan alias Peter Co, Lovely Adam Impal, Melvin Gerpacio, Ryan Diaz, and Reynaldo Diaz.

Among the respondents, Espinosa remains in the custody of the NBI, while, Co and Impal are currently jailed at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City and the Iligan City Jail, respectively.

The complaint was filed after the NBI-TFAID conducted an investigation on the extrajudicial confessions made by Espinosa, the son of slain Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa.

“In 2008, Kerwin started his large scale shabu trade in Cebu City inside the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center (BBRC) where he was detained pending the decision of his RA 9165 case,” read the NBI’s referral letter.

The NBI said Kerwin revealed that at that time, he was being supplied with methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, by slain drug lord Jeffrey Diaz, alias Jaguar, through Ryan Diaz and Reynaldo DIaz, Lim, Impal, and Co.

“Kerwin used cellphone, electronic money transfer, and bank transactions in his drug trade and hired Melvin Gerfacio to distribute shabu and collect payments in Barangay Pasil, Barangay Ermita, Barangay Ponce, Barangay Villagonzalo, and Barangay Lorega-San Miguel, Cebu City,” the NBI said.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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