The Philippine National Police (PNP) is validating reports that suspected drug lord and businessman Peter Lim has already exited the country, its chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said on Monday.
“We’re checking on that,” he said in a press conference.
Eleazar made the statement after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said authorities received information that the fugitive indicted on drug charges is not in the country anymore.
Due to this, Eleazar said he directed the Directorate of Intelligence, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), and the PNP Drug Enforcement Group to check on this.
He added that concerned agencies have been coordinating with their foreign counterparts to locate and arrest Lim.
If the reports are true, Eleazar assured the public that authorities can still arrest Lim through coordination with their counterparts.
“Mahuhuli at mahuhuli rin siya whether siya nasa loob ng bansa o wala sa loob ng bansa. It’s just a matter of time,” he said.
(We will be able to arrest whether he is in the country or not. It’s just a matter of time.)
A Makati court ordered Lim’s arrest in August 2018 after it determined there is probable cause to put him, self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa, and their other co-accused on trial for a case for conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading.
Police, however, had failed to locate Lim at either of his two addresses in Cebu City.
President Rodrigo Duterte advised Lim in February 2019 to "kill" himself.
"If I were you I would commit suicide. Never ever surrender to me alive...ikaw pa magpatali sa leeg mo," the President said in a speech in Malacañang.
Duterte later told reporters that Lim might still be “active [but] whether he is in or out of the Philippines we do not know that for sure.” —KG/RSJ, GMA News