Here’s what’s not known, so far: it’s not confirmed yet by official autopsy that the 19-year-old fourth-year high school student who collapsed at a pre-Sinulog party last Saturday (January 19) at the Ayala Business Center in Cebu City and died the following day was a victim of drug overdose.
Social media identified her, even circulated her photo, and blamed drug use as cause of death. Traditional media knew her name: Some news outfits disclosed her identity, others withheld it. They didn’t say she died of drug overdose; it was “suspected” or “alleged.”
Organizers of the party and the police gave sketchy details but were both profuse about what each group did to prevent or respond to the “unfortunate incident.” They sounded defensive but they addressed the public’s major points of interest.
The organizers talked about their “medical team” providing prompt assistance to get her to the nearest hospital.
The police said they scoured the area for drugs before the party, even using dogs to sniff them out. If drugs were brought in, it must have been done after the police did their search. And, of course, not every person or inch of ground could’ve been covered. K9 dogs soon tired.
A Facebook comment said the girl should’ve attended the masses and other Sto. Niño rituals instead of the concert party. She did, another comment said, she attended the procession early that afternoon.
If the incident contributed anything, it focused on the problem of party drugs at concerts and similar activities. The music, the fellowship and ambience are recipes for drug use. Often, beer or liquor is mixed with party drugs.
Police focus has been on peddlers of marijuana, shabu and cocaine, not the party drugs, which are more expensive and peddled quietly in settings less open than the streets, definitely less obtrusive than the hard-stuff counterparts.
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