THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) has asked the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 51 to discharge a co-accused of self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa to become a state witness. The prosecution said Marcel L. Adorco has “consented to his discharge as an accused to become a witness for the State.” The DoJ said in its petition that “Mr. Adorco’s testimony is absolutely necessary as there is no direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed.” It added, “The testimony of the said accused can be substantially corroborated in its material points.” The DoJ noted that under Section 17 Rule 119 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, the prosecution may move to discharge an accused with their consent, “after presentation of evidence and the sworn statement of each proposed state witnesses in support of the discharge.” Messrs. Espinosa and Adorco, along with convicted drug lord Peter Co, Lovely Impal and Ruel Malindangan, are facing two counts of violation of Republic Act 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas