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Court OKs Cebu road rage suspect’s travel

MANILA, Philippines -  A court has allowed a defendant in a road rage shooting in Cebu to travel abroad for three weeks.

In a two-page order, Regional Trial Court Branch 9 Judge Alexander Acosta said the case against David Lim Jr. does not involve national security, public safety or public health.

Acosta ordered Lim to post a bond of P300,000, submit a certified true copy of his passport and report to the court within three days upon his arrival in the country. The court said the trip could not be extended.

Lim was accused of shooting nurse Ephraim Montalbo, 33, following a traffic altercation in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City in March. He was charged with illegal possession of ammunition and frustrated homicide and  freed after posting bail of P144,000.

The suspect is a nephew of Peter Lim, who remains free even though he is listed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as a top-tier drug trafficking suspect. Peter and his brother supported President Duterte during the elections.

David Lim sought permission to travel with his family to the United States and Canada from May 18 to June 8, saying their flights had long been booked.

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Montalbo, through his lawyer, Mundlyn Misal-Martin, had asked the court to deny Lim’s petition, saying the trip is not urgent.

“If accused is allowed to leave the Philippines without sufficient reason, it could place him beyond the reach of the courts…The travel was only at will and for pleasure,” Montalbo’s comment read.

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