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Aguirre forms panel to review dismissal of charges vs. Peter Lim, Kerwin Espinosa

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday formed a panel that will review the resolution that dismissed the drug charges against businessman Peter Lim, self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa, and several other personalities.

In a message to reporters, Aguirre said the panel will handle the motion for reconsideration filed by the police that appealed the junking of the charges against the respondents, which also include Peter Co, a convicted drug lord.

The panel will be composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, Assistant State Prosecutor Ana Noreen Devanadera, and Prosecution Attorney Herbert Calvin Abugan, he said.

Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan, who approved the earlier resolution, "will not participate" in the review, he said.

In a resolution released late last year but obtained by the media on Monday, a panel of DOJ prosecutors cleared Lim, Espinosa and the others due to weak evidence.

The decision is up for automatic review by Aguirre, who called it a "slight bump" in the government's war against illegal drugs.

Several personalities, including some senators and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, have criticized the government for the dismissal of the drug charges. —KBK, GMA News