WITH no less than President Rodrigo Duterte ordering the arrest of Nel Spencer Tiu, the boyfriend of Ashley Abad, the 19-year-old girl who reportedly died of party drug overdose, I can foresee that his life will be “miserable” in the next few days. Also ordered arrested are six of Ashley’s friends who were with her on that fateful night attending a pre-Sinulog party at the Cebu Business Park. Until this time, Tiu and their companions refused to cooperate with police investigators to shed light on the circumstances surrounding Ashley’s death.
The parents of Ashley visited Malacañang on Thursday, Feb. 7, and met with the President, asking the chief executive’s intervention as the case had not yet moved. Reports said Duterte gave an instruction to a ranking police officer through telephone to arrest Tiu and their companions. The autopsy will be released within the week. Initially, doctors said Ashley died from an overdose of a party drug that she ingested during an affair last Jan. 19. She passed out after taking the drug and died the following day.
I don’t personally know Tiu and his family. But I am also puzzled why until this time he refuses to cooperate with the police. Is his conscience not bothering him that he refuses to shed light on what happened to his girlfriend? Siyaro og wala ni siya makonsensiya? O wala ba siya padamgoha ni Ashley? What kind of a boyfriend is he? This might be unfair to him, but I am one of those who suspect that maybe he was the one who prodded, convinced and tempted Ashley to take the drug. Was he the source of the party drug? Is he a drug user?
Ordered arrested? On what basis? Tiu has not yet been charged. PRO 7 Chief Debold Sinas said if Tiu would still refuse to cooperate with them after he would be subpoenaed, they would be forced to arrest him. Tiu and his companions will be charged with negligence resulting to homicide for their failure to provide help to Ashley, which resulted to her death. If proven they were the source of the party drug, they would be charged with murder.
The President was overheard telling somebody on the phone to arrest Tiu. The other party on the line tried to explain that there was no pending case against him. But the President said: “Ingna akoy nagpadakop.” Aw, kon mao ning kalakiha, delikado ni si Tiu. Posible pa mapagan ang iyang mga ginikanan ug mga relatives ani niya.
I am afraid that the police might be pressured by the standing order of the President to arrest Tiu and they might cut short the process. I am afraid he will be framed and his rights will be violated. Consider this possible scenario: the police might apply for a search warrant and raid their house. Or Tiu will be placed under surveillance and police will just arrest him anytime and anywhere and plant illegal items for him to be under their custody. Or worst, Tiu will be a victim of an extrajudicial killing. So, if I were the parents of Tiu, I would surrender him to the police rather than let him be a victim of police abuses on grounds of trampled and fabricated charges. He will be arrested for another crime to force him to “tell it all.” Anyway, they can hire the best lawyer in town to defend him. Aw, makaingon pud ta nga mirisi.
Party drugs are proliferating in our locality where most users of this kind of drugs are sons and daughters of well-to-do families. Unlike shabu, these kinds of drugs are not easily accessible in the market. Ordinary drug users cannot easily access these drugs because the selling price is P1,500 to P3,000 per tablet. Suppliers have to order these abroad and these are usually distributed in high-end disco bars and parties. A Cebu-based businessman, who owns a disco bar at Parkmall and was implicated in the multi-billion shabu shipment, is suspected to be one of the suppliers of party drugs here and authorities are looking into this.