By Chito Chavez
Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) are looking into possibilities that two celebrities have drug links with a slain party drug dealer Steve Pasion.
PDEA Special Enforcement Service Director Levi Ortiz, however, refused to name the celebrities who were identified through text messages in Pasion’s cellular phone.
“Isa sa mga parokyano niya mga celebrities. Marami tayong namonitor pero ‘yung naconfirm talaga natin based on text messages we extracted from his (Pasion) cellphone, dalawang artista (One of the clients are celebrities. We have monitored a lot of them but we just confirmed them with the text messages we extracted from his (Pasion) cellphone, two movie personalities,” Ortiz said.
Based on the text message, Ortiz said the two celebrities wanted to purchase 200 pieces of ecstasy from Pasion.
Ortiz confirmed PDEA has been monitoring the activities of the two celebrities for quite some time as there were previous reports about their alleged involvement to illegal drugs.
“Pero ‘yun nga ‘yung artista na ‘yan matagal na din tayo may reports na involved sila. Lalo kaming nagduda nung nabasa naming (But we have previous reports that these celebrities have drug links. Our suspicion is ow even stronger with these texr messages we read),” he added.
Pasion was killed while his female companion was nabbed as joint operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Manila police pounced on them during a buy-bust operation in Sta. Cruz Manila on Monday night.
He was shot dead after he tried to grab the service firearm of a PDEA agent while attempting to escape from the third parking level of the Amaia Skies Avenida in Barangay 310 Sta. Cruz Manila.
The suspect’s SUV was blocked by the arresting team as he tried to elude arrest.
A report submitted to PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said Pasion also managed to grab his 9mm pistol forcing the PDEA agent to shoot him.
The circumstances leading to Pasion’s death should quell suspicions that the suspect was summarily executed despite surrendering.
Pasion’s companion Sophie Mercado claimed that she was unaware that Pasion was into the illegal drug trade as she maintained her innocence.
Mercado who was Pasion’s live-in partner refused to answer more queries insisting that further statements will be made with the assistance or through her lawyer.
Also seized during the operation were 15 tablets of suspected ecstasy worth more or less P30,000, 50 grams of suspected shabu worth at least P300,000, buy bust money, sachets of suspected cocaine, sachets of suspected ecstasy capsule, one caliber 9mm pistol with one magazine and 13 live ammos.
The anti-drug operation that led to the death of a big time party drug dealer was made after months of intense monitoring.
PDEA-NCR Director Joel Plaza said Pasion is tied to the anti-illegal drug operations inside condominiums and warehouses in Metro Manila and neighboring areas.
He explained that drug dealing subjects found it convenient to use condominiums as their places of operation since the occupants from other units do not know or have minimal interaction with one another.
Plaza noted Pasion has hired security men to protect him, being a high-profile dealer of party drugs.
The arresting team later found illegal drugs and other drug paraphernalia inside Pasion’s condo unit in the same building.
Ortiz said charges for violation of section 5 and section 11 of republic Act 9165.