American arrested for selling ecstasy escapes after surgery

MANILA, Philippines – An American arrested for selling at least 140 tablets of the party drug ecstasy was able to escape Saturday, April 15, after undergoing surgery for acute appendicitis.

Jun No, who was arrested by the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) just last April 5, was rushed to the hospital on April 10 after he complained of lower abdominal pain. He was undergoing physical and medical examination ahead of his transfer to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Quezon City Jail Annex in Bicutan.

No was first bought to the PNP General Hospital then to the East Avenue Medical Center, according to a DEG press release on the case. At 9:30 pm, No underwent surgery for acute appendicitis. He was confined in one of the hospital’s wards and was being guarded by personnel of the DEG and the PDEA.

But No was still able to escape after the policeman assigned to guard him went out for breakfast. The PDEA agent, meanwhile, “was asleep beside him.”

Police say No was aided by a certain Darleen Son, who gave the suspect P3,000 to facilitate his escape. Son was arrested by the PNP DEG and faces obstruction of justice charges for helping No escape.

Senior Police Office 2 Michael Macarubbo and PDEA agent Ernie Eugnio, meanwhile, face evasion through negligence charges for allowing No to escape, according to the PNP DEG. No was apparently left without handcuffs while on his hospital bed, contrary to earlier established protocols. 

They also face administrative cases for serious neglect of duty and are currently in the custody of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). 

Police are still looking for No.

The DEG is the PNP's newly-formed unit tasked in chasing after "high-value targets" in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

It was created in March 2017, a month after Duterte ordered the closure of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) after one of its men allegedly planned and carried out the kidnap and murder of a Korean national. –