Philippines

Adik na confirm and sentensya

By Ted Alcuitas

A former Vancouver resident has been sentenced to life in prison for trying to smuggle ecstasy while on vacation to the Philippines in 2011,The Manila Times reported yesterday, August 31.

The Philippine Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the ruling of the lower court against Filipino-Canadian Jesse Matthew Johnson, 31.

Associate Justice Carmelita Salandanan Manahan, of CA’s Special Sixth Division, affirmed the October 3, 2014 decision of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 78, finding Jesse Matthew Johnson, guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Records show that Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency agents seized a parcel containing the illegal drug sent through a Philippine Postal Corp. office branch in Quezon City from Vancouver, Canada with Johnson as consignee. Johnson, alias “Jovit Calaminos Reformoso,” was arrested when he claimed the package containing 30 grams of narcotics.

“I don’t know the entire story of the arrest and the details of the case against him,” said his mom Vangie Johnson, told CTV News last year. Insisting that her son is “innocent”.

Friends of Johnson started a crowdfunding drive to help him his legal fight which is now closed.

A petition was sent to the Prime Minister at the time and Vancouver-Kingsway NDP MP Don Davies also sent a copy.

Calls and email to Davis’ office has not been answered.

It is estimated that 5% of the Philippine population or about five million Filipinos between the ages of 10 and 69 years old have used illegal drugs at least once in their lives. President Duterte has said a few times there are about 3 million current drug users. A modest count is around 1.8 million.

Latest repors from the Philippines say that  over 8,000 alleged drug addicts (‘adik’ in Filipino) has been killed without due process (extra-judicial) under Duterte who took office in June last year.