THE PHILIPPINES might seek the help of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) about a suspected drug lord who may have left the country, according to the Department of Justice (DoJ).

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) had no record of convicted drug suspect Peter G. Lim’s departure from the Philippines, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra told reporters in a Viber group message on Monday. “His last recorded foreign travel was in 2017,” he added.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año earlier said the suspect might have left the country.

Mr. Guevarra said the Philippines has a very extensive coastline and there are known backdoors in the nation’s south. “We cannot really be sure,” he said, adding that Mr. Lim’s Philippine passport expired in 2019.

Mr. Guevarra said the agency would intensify efforts to track down Mr. Lim, and might also “request the Interpol to assist if there are indeed indications that this fugitive has slipped out of our country.” 

BI spokesperson Dana Krizia M. Sandoval said Mr. Lim has several namesakes, with at least one having left the country recently. The real Mr. Lim, however, had no recent departure record, she added.

Government prosecutors earlier accused Mr. Lim of supplying at least 90 kilos of crystal meth to members of the widely known Espinosa drug group in Regions 7 and 8 in 2013 and 2015, and of conducting other separate drug transactions in 2014.

The government put out a P500,000 bounty for Mr. Lim’s arrest. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago