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NBI says Peña’s pals have ties to party drug supplier

The National Bureau of Investigation said yesterday that the two companions of former Philippine Basketball Association player Dorian Peña who were arrested with him in an entrapment operation in Mandaluyong City were suspected associates of a fugitive Korean-American ecstasy supplier.

NBI Director Dante Gierran said Jose Paolo Ampeso, the son of former Philippine Consul General to Canada Jose Arthur Ampeso, and his live-in-partner Ledy Mea Mesia Vilchez, also known as “Mae,” were suspected associates of Jun No.
No was arrested last April 5 in Pasay City after he sold several tablets of ecstasy, a party drug, to a poseur-buyer in a buy-bust operation. Seized from him were 140 ecstasy tablets valued by the the Philippine National Police-Drug Enforcement Group at P420,000.

No escaped from his escorts after undergoing surgery at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City for acute appendicitis a few days after he was arrested.

Gierran said the NBI learned that subject “Mae” was the last known companion of No after he escaped from the hospital. He added that they also found out that “Mae” is an escort girl who delivers drugs for Korean clients.”

The NBI conducted a manhunt operation against No in an alleged drug den in Merryland Village last Wednesday and caught Peña in a pot session with Jose Paolo and Vilchez. Seized from them were two sachets of suspected shabu and drug paraphernalia and they tested positive for drug use, according to the NBI.

They were taken to the Department of Justice in Manila Thursday for inquest proceedings over drug charges.

The 39-year-old Peña, who played for several PBA teams, had tested positive for drugs before. The 6’7” Peña tested positive for marijuana use during mandatory hepatitis tests conducted by the Games and Amusement Board before the start of the 2003 PBA season and was suspended two games.

Peña played 17 seasons in the PBA, averaging 7.1 points and 7.6 rebounds. He spent most of his career with San Miguel Beer where he won four titles. Peña also played for Barangay Ginebra, Barako Bull, and Globalport where he played his last season last year. (Jeffrey G. Damicog)