Controversial ex-cager nabbed for drugs
Retired basketball superstar Paul Alvarez was caught in the act of using drugs by policemen who were serving a warrant for his arrest on slight physical injuries on Saturday.
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) said operatives of the Special Operations Unit arrested the 48-year-old Alvarez at 8:10 p.m. in a barbershop on Anonas Extension corner V. Luna Avenue Extension, Quezon City.
The warrant for his arrest had been issued by Judge Don Ace Mariano Alagar of the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 42 in connection with a bar brawl on Timog Avenue in October. The former Philippine Basketball Association star was jailed for punching a certain John Mendoza; although he was eventually released on bail. However, he failed to attend court hearings, prompting the judge to issue an arrest warrant against him.
A report to Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, QCPD director, said police operatives saw Alvarez sniffing “shabu” in a den at the barber shop. With him were two men identified as Mohammad Dana, 29, and Ray Allan Cruz, 36.
Speaking to reporters, Alvarez denied his involvement in illegal drugs and claimed he was set up by the pair.
Eleazar, however, said that the police already had prior information that he was using drugs. “All three of them [tested] positive in the drug test,” he added.
Seized from Alvarez and the two men were five sachets of suspected shabu worth around P15,000, five aluminum foil strips allegedly with traces of shabu and other drug paraphernalia.
The three men face charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
Known as “Mr. Excitement” for his high-leaping dunks on the court, the former PBA player began his career in 1985, playing with the San Miguel Beermen and Ginebra San Miguel before retiring in 2005.
Alvarez, however, was hounded by controversies during and after his basketball career. In April this year, he faced charges for domestic violence for beating up his partner in Baguio City.
Police said he was also previously charged for physical injuries for hurting a taxi cab driver and a female TV reporter in August 2007. An adultery charge was likewise filed against him after he was supposedly caught having an affair with a businessman’s wife in Makati City in 2003.
In 2012, Alvarez voluntarily surrendered to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and underwent drug rehabilitation for six months.
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