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Govt’s drug case vs Kerwin Espinosa tossed

Republika

A judge has thrown out the government’s case against alleged bigtime drug trafficker Kerwin Espinosa for “insufficient evidence.”

In layman’s terms, state prosecutors weren’t able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of Espinosa in the capital crime they were accusing him of.


In rejecting the raps lodged against Espinosa, Makati Regional Trial Court Judge Gina Bibat-Palamos noted that prosecutors rested their case solely on the testimony of witness Marcelo Adorco which she described as “untrustworthy” and inadmissible inasmuch as it was obtained without the presence of a lawyer.


Also beneficiaries of the court’s ruling were co-accused Peter Co (Wu Tuan Yuan), Lovely Impal and Adorco.


It was reported the judge granted the demurrer to evidence filed by defendants’ lawyers on grounds that it was grossly insufficient to prove the case pending before the bench.


Apart from this, the judge also pointed out that government lawyers didn’t present other pieces of information in support of their witness’ testimony which was recanted in August 2020.


Adorco withdrew his testimony against Kerwin et al. after learning that he would be included in the charge sheet, and that his own admission would be used against him in court.


The accused were charged with violation of Republic Act 9165 (or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) for allegedly conspiring to sell 20 kilograms of methamphetamin hydrochloride (of shabu) in Makati in the parking lot of a mall in 2013.


However, Espinosa isn’t going to be set free anytime soon as he still has to contend with a string of drug cases resulting from his activities as head of the so-called Espinosa drug group in the Visayas region.


Espjnosa’s alleged financier is a certain Cebu-based businessman identified as Peter Lim. Lim was earlier indicted and ordered arrested for by another Makati court in 2018 for alleged drug dealing, but he remains at large.


Various previously published newspaper photos showed Lim was a “kumpadre” of President Duterte at a wedding.


“Sooner or later, the long arm of the law will catch up with these people and they will answer for their crimes,” Guevarra was quoted in news reports as saying, quite obviously disappointed with the Espinosa ruling.


Kerwin was the son of the late Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa who was identified in Duterte’s list of narco politicians as one of the biggest suppliers of illegal drugs in central Philippines.


The elder Espinosa was killed in November 2016 in an alleged shootout with policemen in the Baybay, Leyte jail where he was being detained.


According to reports, Mayor Espinosa shot it out with the police team that raided his jail cell supposedly to serve an arrest warrant.


Despite his being in captivity, police claimed that he managed to keep a stash of shabu and was armed.

Photo: Rappler


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