PDEA chief says ‘celebrity’ pushers in drugs watchlist
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino on Tuesday revealed that some celebrities who are suspected to be drug pushers are included in the government’s drugs watchlist.
“Karamihan naman ng kanilang involvement is user. Merong pailan-ilan po silang pusher (Most of those in the list are users. Some of them are pushers),” Aquino said in an interview with DZMM, after a report quoted him as saying that there were 31 celebrities in the watchlist.
“Meron pong user ng ecstasy, cocaine, merong shabu, merong party drugs. Karamihan po party drugs (There are some who use ecstasy, cocaine, shabu, and party drugs. Most of them use party drugs),” he said.
According to Aquino, most celebrities in the watchlist use illegal drugs when they go out to partying in clubs.
Aquino however did not reveal the identities of the celebrities in the narco list saying that the list needs validation.
“Kung titingnan mo po kasi pag sa mga artista, karamihan po doon ay nasa radar na namin noon pa, kaya lang mahirap talagang hulihin (Most of the celebrities in the list have been in our radar even in the past, but they are really hard to catch),” he said.
According to Aquino, PDEA agents cannot easily conduct surveillance operations against celebrities suspected to be involved in illegal drugs as most of them live in gated subdivisions.
“Ina-accept naman po namin ‘yan dahil nga unang-una napakahirap, sa mga malalaking subdivision ‘yan nakatira at alam naman po natin na hindi kami basta basta nakakapasok sa mga lugar na ganyan,” he said.
(We accept that but it is really hard since they live in subdivisions and we know that we can’t easily get in those kinds of areas.)
Earlier, Aquino also revealed that some prosecutors, judges, and even media practitioners are included in the drugs watchlist. /muf
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