Former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player Dorian Peña was arrested Wednesday along with two companions during a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) entrapment operation in Mandaluyong City.
The 39-year-old Peña, who played for several PBA teams, was brought to the Department of Justice (DoJ) for inquest proceedings along with Ledy Mae Vilchez and Jose Paolo Ampeso yesterday.
Peña was charged with possession and use of illegal drugs while Vilchez and Ampeso were charged with sale, possession, use of illegal drugs, and maintenance of a drug den.
NBI operatives, who swooped down on the alleged drug den at Merryland Village, also seized two plastic sachets containing shabu and several pieces of drug paraphernalia.
The suspects tested positive for drug use, according to the NBI.
The three suspects arrived at the DoJ in handcuffs and wore identical orange shirts while being escorted by NBI agents at 10 a.m. and left past noon. They boarded the same vehicle that brought them to the DoJ.
It was not the first time Peña hit the headlines for drugs.
Peña tested positive for marijuana use during mandatory hepatitis tests conducted by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) before the start of the 2003 PBA season. He was suspended two games.
The PBA has been conducting random drug tests every game, taking urine samples of two players for each team.
PBA media bureau head Willie Marcial said drug use among local players is rare, saying the last player to test positive was about eight years ago. “Mas maraming case sa mga import. Pag ganun, pinapauwi na lang,” Marcial said.
The six-foot-seven 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.