Taguig court hands life sentence to 3 big-time drug pushers

A Taguig court has sentenced to life imprisonment three big-time drug pushers, in a decision Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano lauds as a victory in the longtime effort to rid the city of illegal drugs.

“This is a crucial victory in a crusade we’ve begun in 2010,”  said the Taguig mayor. “The adverse effects of illegal drugs ripple from the individual to the community at large so we’ve maintained the offensive versus this industry. Each drug personality we pin down is definitely a win for the city.”
Judge Antonio Olivete of Taguig Regional Trial Court Branch 267 also fined Jose Vastine, Edilberto Ty and Albert Joaquin Ong P500,000 each after he ruled they were guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 5 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act on Monday, September 3, 2018.

Ong and Vastine were also ordered to undergo rehabilitation for a minimum period of six months in a government center after they were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Section 15 Article 2 of the same law.

Olivete ordered the commitment of the three convicted drug pushers to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

“We’ve always been confident that the people would win this litigation,” said Mayor Lani. “This is a fitting conclusion. It is proof that the city is committed to the safety and well-being of TaguigeƱos.”
Vastine, Ty and Ong were nabbed in a buy-bust operation that turned up with 2 kilograms of high-grade cocaine worth P10 million in 2011. The sting is only one of the many police operations that caught big fish in the drug trade.

Tinga Drug Syndicate members Joel Tinga and Elisa “Ely” Tinga were also sentenced to reclusion perpetua for selling illegal drugs in September 2016 and February 2017, respectively.
Elisa, wife of Noel Tinga, reportedly a cousin of former Taguig Mayor Freddie Tinga, was the third most wanted person in the list of illegal drug personalities. She was the seventh member of the Tinga Drug Syndicate who was arrested and jailed.

The Top 10 drug personalities in 2015 —Michael Butch Tan, Sancho Espiritu, Alfonso Dacquel, Richard Silvestre, Isidro Llagas, Mardie Talampas, Jackie Abone, Adonis Venus, Bags Malay and Rawie Castro—are all now behind bars, thanks to the continuous efforts of the police.
Several initiatives were also introduced to curb the drug menace.

In 2016, the Taguig Anti-Drug Abuse Council launched the drug-free community program for drug dependents. The two-month program aims to rehabilitate drug users and reintegrate them as productive members of society.

Taguig, under the leadership of Mayor Lani, also implements a “one-strike policy” against business establishments allowing patrons and customers to use illegal drugs. The city government immediately revokes business permits even though establishments are first-time offenders.

“All these measures and convictions should be a clear warning to users, and pushers,” said Mayor Lani. “We will not stop playing our part in making the nation drug-free.”

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