Former University of the Philippines varsity mainstay Kevin Rae Astorga was among those collared by anti-drug operatives in a buy-bust operation in BF Homes, Parañaque City past midnight on Tuesday.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agents led by team head Jill Salamanca conducted the drug sting at the JEMP Building in the said locality following months of surveillance.
Arrested with Astorga were Agustin Montejo, Jerico Dumagan, Karen Salvajan, and Mico Mojares.
Seized from their possession were 150 grams of Kush, or high-grade marijuana, and several self-sealing plastic sachets containing cocaine, two mobile phones, and the P150,000 marked money used by the PDEA agent who acted as a poseur-buyer.
The estimated value of the confiscated narcotics is still being verified based on the “standard price of Kush”.
Initial reports yielded that Astorga, who last played for the UP Fighting Maroons in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) in the 2009-2010 season, was having a pot session to celebrate his birthday when the raid happened.
A Daily Tribune source at the PDEA said Astorga, who was also team captain of the 2004 SEABA U-18 team, was the one operating the drug den and would occasionally hold private parties for his clientele.
Authorities are now conducting follow up operations to determine Astorga’s sources of the contraband and his other accomplices.
PDEA will also be looking into the possibility of former and active varsity players being on Astorga’s client list.