Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency narco-list 'star-studded'

Aaron Aquino
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino

PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency Chair Director General Aaron N. Aquino yesterday said they are still validating a list of drug personalities which includes judges and prosecutors and celebrities and media personalities before going after them.

“Once na may nakarating na report po sa amin, ito po ay isasama na namin sa watchlist. Mai-include ka na po sa watchlist. Kapag naisama ka na po sa watchlist, kailangan muna po i-validate ka at i-confirm kung tama ‘yung report na na-receive namin. Otherwise, kung hindi tama, tatanggalin ka namin sa watchlist,” the PDEA chief told a GMA 7 interview.

Aquino’s revelation came in the wake of the recent neutralization of a man tagged as Metro Manila’s top Ecstasy dealer, the arrest of two students of De La Salle-College of St. Benile and De La Salle University and the seizure of some P1.1 billion worth of shabu during an anti-narcotics raid in posh Ayala Alabang Subdivision in Muntinlupa City where three Chinese nationals were arrested.

Officials said they are still building-up evidence against two celebrities, both big stars of a giant network whose names appeared in the mobile phone of John Steven Pasion, the suspected supplier of the designer drug called Ecstasy to the “rich and famous” in Metro Manila until he was killed in a shootout with PDEA Special Enforcement Service agents in Manila last week.

Several Journal Group sources said that one of the celebrities has been in their radar for quite some time now amid information that the latter is offering Ecstasy to friends in exchange for some sexual pleasure.

The names and pictures of the two celebrities were said to be seen in the cell phone of Pasion, one of them even ordering 200 Ecstasy tablets and the other asking if he has available supply.  

Aquino bared that PDEA has two lists:  one from President Duterte which contains the names of at least 6,000 validated targets and the 2nd culled from the National Drug Information System which has around 20,000 personalities in it although the names mentioned are still being verified by different government intelligence agencies.

The PDEA chief explained that the Duterte list includes the names of various law enforcement agency personnel believed to be involved in illicit drug activities as well as government officials and personnel, politicians, judges and prosecutors, celebrities and even media personalities.

Some judges and prosecutors were included in the list following verified information that they have been in cahoots with big-time drug offenders, in particular ensuring the acquittal of “big fish” in the illegal drug trade, the official said.