Trial on drug case vs. Espinosa, others set on Aug. 2

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

July 27, 2018, 6:51 pm

MANILA -- The Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) set the trial on the illegal drug case filed by Philippine National Police (PNP) against self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa, convicted drug lord Peter Co and several others on August 2.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the cases after a reinvestigation it conducted to allow the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) the opportunity to submit additional evidence.

A violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act), particularly conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade, against Espinosa, convicted drug lord Peter Co, Lovely Impal, Marcelo Adorco and Ruel Malindangan has been filed before the Makati RTC.

“After a careful evaluation of the information and the supporting evidence, this Court finds that it has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the information and that probable cause exist to hold accused Rolan E. Espinosa a.k.a. Kerwin, Wu Tuan Yuan a.k.a. Peter Co, Marcelo Adorco and Lovely A. Impal for trial.

"Arraignment/pretrial/trial are set on August 2, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. at the Session Hall, New Bilibid Prison , Muntinlupa City,” read the order signed by Judge Gina M. Bibat-Palamos, of Makati RTC Branch 64.

Last July 19, the panel composed of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, Assistant State Prosecutor Anna Noreen Devanadera and Prosecution Attorney Herbert Calvin Abugan found probable cause to charge Espinosa, Co, Impal, and Malindagan for violation of Section 26 (B) in relation to Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Acts of 2002.

Navera said the panel gave weight to the testimonies of Adorco, Espinosa's driver, who identified Espinosa, Co, Impal and Malindagan as his cohorts to charge them with conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade.

The panel also considered Espinosa's confession, admitting that he traded in drugs in Region 7.

Espinosa is already facing other drug cases before the Manila RTC. (PNA)