PDEA looking at 2 celebs linked to top party drug dealer
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said it was investigating two “celebrities” whose names were found on the phone of a slain big-time party drug dealer.
According to PDEA Special Enforcement Services (SES) Acting Director Levi Ortiz, the names of two celebrities — whom they have been monitoring — popped up while they were inspecting the phone of Steven Pasion.
Pasion was killed in a buy-bust operation on Monday night.
“Yong clients niya high-profile, mga young professionals, mga students, and also celebrities. Take note, may dalawang celebrity tayo na nakunan natin sa text communication nila sa suspect, na nag-order ‘yong celebrity ng 200 pieces of Ecstasy,” Ortiz said in a press conference on Tuesday.
“Dalawa sila, high profile, saka palaging nag-aappear sa TV. Babae saka lalake,” he added. “Nakuha natin ‘yong cellphone niya (Pasion), at saka nabasa natin ‘yong mga communication.”
He refused to name the two celebrities because they were still under investigation, especially since there was a possibility that the celebrities’ names were used as aliases by Pasion’s clients.
“That is why we are conducting investigation on them para ma-determine natin kung totoo talaga na sila ba talaga ‘yon […] We will be conducting case build-up on them, kung talagang makakakuha ng solid evidence, we will conduct operations against them,” Ortiz said.
One of the celebrities apparently ordered 200 ecstasy tablets from Pasion. Ortiz noted thought that whether it was used for his or her own consumption or whether it was distributed will have to be investigated first.
“Subject to further investigation. Kasi kung gumagamit siya, kung binibigyan niya (‘yong iba), distribution pa rin ‘yon. Non-bailable pa rin ‘yon,” he explained.
On Monday night, Pasion — allegedly the top distributor of party drugs and shabu in Metro Manila — was killed during a buy-bust operation led by operatives of the PDEA National Capital Region office and the Manila Police’s Drug Enforcement Unit near his condominium unit in Sta. Cruz Manila.
Pasion’s live-in partner Irene Mercado was arrested. Authorities also raided their residence, confiscating around one kilo of shabu and 60 milliliters of liquid ecstasy with a combined worth of P6.075 million.
“Ang background nitong si Steve Pasion, isa siya sa big-time supplier ng party drugs at shabu dito sa Metro Manila. However, parang naka-timbre siya na sinusundan na siya, kaya ‘yong ibang stocks niya nalipat na sa ibang lugar,” Ortiz said. /cbb
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