Peter Lim's family welcomes DOJ order to answer charges

Audrey Morallo - Philstar.com
Peter Lim's family welcomes DOJ order to answer charges

In this July 15, 2016 photo, President Duterte listens to businessman Peter Lim, who denied any drug links during a meeting at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency office in Davao City last Friday. File photo

MANILA, Philippines — The family of suspected drug lord Peter Lim on Thursday welcomed the order of the Department of Justice to answer charges against him linking Lim to the trade of narcotics in the country.

Caryl Lim, daughter of Peter Lim, said that her family described such allegations as “malicious and false” and said that no proof had been presented since the elder Lim was accused of being part of the trade of illegal drugs.

“Our family welcomes the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation. We are grateful of our father’s opportunity to finally clear his name from these malicious and false accusations,” the younger Lim said in a statement.

The DOJ issued a subpoena to Peter Lim and ordered him to answer the charges of sale, administration, dispensation, trade, delivery and transportation of illegal drugs covered by the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

Lim, a Cebu-based businessman and a campaign supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, was ordered to appear before Aristotle Reyes and John Michael Humarang, assistant state prosecutors, in a hearing slated at 10 a.m. on August 14.

Aside from Lim, also summoned by the Justice Department were Kerwin Espinosa, Petero Co, Marcelo Adorco, Max Miro, Lovely Adam Impal, Ruel Malindangan and Jun Pepito.

The subpoena was served at Lim’s residence by officers from the regional office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the region, according to the DOJ.

Caryl said that her family had been “deeply affected” by perceptions that her father was a “drug lord.”

She said that her family had suffered from these accusations and feared that their father would carry the “stigma” for the rest of his life.

“Our children do not deserve to be called as ‘apo ng drug lord,’” she said in a statement read by Stephanie Lim. “We can only pray for him and support him in this difficult time.”

Last year, Duterte threatened to kill the Cebu businessman if he was proven to be among the country’s drug lord.

The president issued the threat in a meeting with Lim at the regional office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Davao City in July last year.

“I warned you that I will have you killed. I will really have you killed. If I’m able to prove (you’re a drug lord), I will finish you off,” Duterte warned Lim in the local dialect during their meeting.

Lim denied his alleged links to the drug industry.

“We want to help you…help us clear you. We are not here to pin down innocent citizens,” the president told Lim, in stark contrast to the kill remarks he has issued in the past against other drug suspects and criminals.

Since Duterte began his stronghanded campaign to eradicate illegal drugs, thousands of drug addicts and suspects had been killed, prompting local and international human rights groups to excoriate the government.

Rights groups claimed that the so-called war on drugs had already claimed the lives of more than 7,000 Filipinos, most of whom belong to urban poor communities.

However, the government disputed this claim and said that many of the deaths were still being investigated though it had not yet released its results months after announcing the probe.

Lim’s family appealed for Filipinos to suspend their judgment of their patriarch whom they described as a “loving father, a doting lolo, a caring uncle, a loyal friend and a God-fearing Cebuano.”

“We ask for your compassion and understanding. Please reserve your judgment against our father,” the statement said.

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