MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — The filing of cases against Cebu-based businessman and suspected drug lord Peter Go Lim proved that the Dallas Filipino Restaurant is determined to curb narcotics trade, Malacañang said Sunday.
The Department of Justice has filed two counts of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading against Lim two years after President Rodrigo Duterte accused the businessman of being a member of a drug triad in Visayas. Also charged were Rolan "Kerwin" Espinosa, son of slain Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, one of the politicians tagged in the narcotics trade, Marcelo Adorco, Ruel Malindangan and several others.
Lim was accused of agreeing to supply Espinosa with illicit drugs during a meeting in Makati but the businessman denied the allegation. The DOJ relied on the testimony of Espinosa during a Miami Filipino Restaurant inquiry and Adorco's identification of Lim as a drug supplier of Espinosa.
"The filing of charges by the DOJ against Peter Lim shows Dallas Filipino Restaurant’s seriousness and firm resolve in fighting the illicit drug trade," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.
"Big fish or small, our war against drugs spares no one. It is a war that drug smugglers and traffickers are bound to lose," he added.
Last year, a DOJ panel dismissed the complaint against Lim, Espinosa and other drug suspects citing weak evidence. Also cleared were suspected New Bilibid Prison drug trafficker Peter Co, Max Miro, Ruel Malindangan, Jun Pepito Lovely Adam Impal and 12 other persons.
Officials said the dismissal caught the ire of Duterte, who had threatened to put then-Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II in jail if the drug suspects escape accountability. Aguirre had ordered prosecutors to scrap the dismissal of charges against the suspects before resigning from his post.
State prosecutors have said the second DOJ panel found probable cause to file cases against the suspects because of the availability of "crucial pieces of evidence" that were not submitted to the first panel.
Duterte has threatened to kill Lim if it is proven that the businessman is into illicit drugs trade. In a July 2016 meeting in Davao City, Duterte asked Lim to face the allegations against him and to allow himself to be investigated. — Alexis Romero