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3 Contemplacion sons get life for selling drugs

By: - Correspondent / @maricarcincoINQ
/ 05:30 AM March 09, 2011

LOS BAÑOS LAGUNA, Philippines—The three sons of Filipino domestic worker Flor Contemplacion, who was executed in Singapore 16 years ago, have been sentenced to life imprisonment for selling illegal drugs, a court official said Tuesday.

In a phone interview, Judge Agripino Morga of Regional Trial Court Branch 32 in San Pablo City in Laguna province, said the three brothers were also fined P500,000 each in a 14-page decision he promulgated last week.

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The brothers are Sandrex, 37, and twins Joel and Jun-jun, both 30.

They are the children of Contemplacion, who was hanged in Singapore in 1995 for the killings of fellow Filipino maid Delia Maga and her 5-year-old Singaporean ward Nicholas Huang.

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Her execution, despite appeals from the Philippine government, sparked widespread protests among Filipinos. It also dramatized at no other time the tragic plight of some Filipinos who have to leave their families to look for work abroad and support them.

The court also ordered the transfer of the three brothers from the city jail to New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

Buy-bust operation

The brothers have until March 16 to appeal the court’s decision, Morga said.

The brothers were arrested in a “shabu” buy-bust operation carried out by the local city police and antidrug agents in Barangay (village) Sta. Isabel, in San Pablo City on Oct. 20, 2005.

A court official, who requested anonymity, said the brothers’ elder sister, Russel, was employed in the office of former Speaker Jose de Venecia at the time of her brothers’ arrest.

Contemplacion’s husband, Efren, and his live-in partner, Violeta remain in jail also in San Pablo City after they were arrested for drug pushing in 2008.

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Brothers deny involvement

A 2005 police report said the three brothers were arrested in the family’s compound in Barangay Sta. Isabel after a poseur bought P3,000 worth of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) from them.

Several paraphernalia used in sniffing shabu were recovered from them, according to the police.

The three denied involvement in illegal drugs, police said.

The 500-meter compound where they were arrested was acquired by the Contemplacion family with money given to them by government officials after their mother was executed.

Jun-jun and Joel played their own characters in a movie about the life story of their mother, played by Nora Aunor. They reportedly received P100,000 each for their film roles while the Contemplacion family was said to have been paid P2 million by Viva Films for the story rights.

When the Inquirer went to visit the family during Contemplacion’s 10th death anniversary in 2005, the brothers said they were having a hard time providing for their families’ financial needs.

At the time, the three said they had been working as tricycle drivers. They also claimed that unscrupulous individuals pocketed some of the donations given to their mother.

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TAGS: Heroism, History, Illegal drugs, Overseas employment, Police, Prison
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