PDEA-7 to probe if party drugs caused student’s death in Cebu
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) will be investigating the death of an 18-year-old female senior high school student who was reported to have allegedly died from a drug overdose in a party held at one of the leading establishments in Cebu on Saturday night, January 19.
According to Leia Albiar, spokesperson of the PDEA-7, they just received the reports on Monday morning, January 21, that the student allegedly died of a drug overdose.
By then, a post with a picture of the student went the rounds on social media particularly on Facebook and Twitter alleging that the girl died after unknowingly ingesting a drink mixed with ecstasy, a recreational drug that induces euphoria.
Albiar said that they still could not confirm if the girl died of ingesting party drugs since they had not yet received the official medical certificate of the student.
“We really cannot give out much details on the incident because as of now, we still need the cooperation of the family of the student to allow us to test if she died because of (an) overdose,” said Albiar.
Signs of overdose
However, Albiar said that PDEA-7 Regional Director Wardley Getalla already gave the directives to investigate the incident in order to identify if party drugs were indeed distributed during the party.
She said that they wanted to check for signs of an overdose such as if the student died of heart attack.
According to Albiar, people suffering from a drug overdose would be expected to feel the increased palpitations of the heart and rise in blood pressure.
She said most people, who died from a drug overdose, died because of a heart attack.
“We cannot force the family to cooperate with us. We are simply hoping that they would so we can solve the case faster. However, if they choose not to, we will work with the information that we have. Anyway, we have other means,” said Albiar.
During the Sinulog activities, the PDEA-7 has been patrolling the Sinulog routes to detect any illegal drugs being transported during the festival that drew 2.5 millions of people to Cebu City.
However, Albiar admitted that drug-sniffing dogs could only work up to certain hours since they could get tired and confused.
On the night the student reportedly died, the PDEA-7 sent drug-sniffing dogs around the establishment where the party was held, but the dogs did not detect any drugs in the area.
Albiar admitted that ecstasy had been difficult to detect because the drug were well protected by drug traders and would only be distributed and sold in areas most likely filtered away from authorities.
According to the information gathered by PDEA-7, ecstasy is a type of drug sold among the affluent costing at least P1000 to P3000 per tablet, and drug traders have formed their own system to keep this expensive drugs from the detection of law enforcement agencies.
Senior Superintendent Royina Garma, director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), also said that with the lack of any report of the incident, they could not give much information.
“We will confirm if this is true,” said Garma.
The family of the student has yet to make an official statement regarding the issue./dbs
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