Celebrities, well-off people next targets of PNP anti-drug drive

MANILA — As part of its intensified anti-drug campaign, the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it will look into affluent people and celebrities involved in illegal drugs.

Southern Police District (SPD) Acting Director Sr. Supt. Tomas Apolinario said from the PNP’s anti-drug operations also aims to curb the prevalence of party drugs such as ‘ecstasy’.

He recalled the five fatalities at the Closeup Forever Summer concert in Pasay City last May 21 who used methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and alcohol.

MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, is a psychoactive drug used primarily as a recreational drug. Desired effects of MDMA include increased empathy, pleasure, and heightened sensations.

With the incident, Apolinario said party and concert organizers are now coordinating with the police to ensure that their events will not be used as a venue for illegal drug trade as these are usually attended by wealthy youth and celebrities.

Despite the deployment of civilian-clothed and uniformed policemen during concerts or parties, Apolinario admitted that is difficult to track down people who used drugs before going to an event.

As a precautionary measure, Apolinario said that they will deploy drug-testing kits in the entrance of the event to test the suspicious actions of an individual.

Meanwhile, Apolinario has ordered two police officers who initially tested positive for illegal drugs and later failed a confirmatory drug test to explain their side on the matter within 15 days.

Apolinario did not identify the two police officers but said they were detailed in Makati and Pateros, respectively.

Earlier, PNP Chief Police Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. Dela Rosa said the drug test aims to show transparency in the organization and ensure the public that high-ranking PNP officials are capable of being role models in leading the fight against illegal drugs.

As part of Oplan Tokhang, the SPD Chief reported 399 drug users surrendered while 16 killed in 196 anti-illegal drugs operations from July 1-26. PNA/northboundasia.com