Closeup concert drug dealers sentenced to life imprisonment

MANILA, Philippines – Two of 5 people accused of manufacturing and selling ecstasy at the 2016 Closeup Forever Summer concert were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Parañaque court.

Parañaque Regional Trial Court Branch 259 Judge Danilo Suarez  on Friday, April 6, found Marc David Deen and Seergeoh Villanueva “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” of illegal drug possession.

The two were also ordered to pay P5 million each.

Their 3 co-accused – Martin Dimacali, Thomas Halili, and Erica Valbuena – are facing at least 20 years in prison and were ordered to pay P500,000 each. 

Suarez charged the 5 suspects for several violations of Republic Act No 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerus Drugs Act of 2002. 

The National Bureau of Investigation nabbed the drug dealers in June 2016 for selling ecstasy during the Closeup concert held the month before, where 5 young concert-goers died.

Initial police and NBI probes showed victims Bianca Fontejon, 18; Ariel Leal, 22; Lance Garcia, 36; Ken Migawa, 18; and Eric Anthony Miller, 33, all died of possible drug overdose. (READ: Music, drugs, and alcohol: Do young Filipinos party to get high?)

Autopsy results of 4 of the victims showed they suffered from heart failure despite their young age. They had blackened hearts and watery fluid in their internal organs, and suffered from internal bleeding.

Since the incident, the organizers stopped holding what used to be the annual Closeup concert. –