Rep. Ronald Singson pleads guilty to drug trafficking, admits frequent cocaine use
24 Oras video
Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson pleaded guilty to drug trafficking in Hong Kong yesterday but denied plans to sell, reports Inquirer.net. The District Court will hear testimony on whether he planned on consuming or sharing the cocaine he was caught with last year, which will help determine the length of his sentence.
Hong Kong law states that bringing drugs into the country is considered trafficking even if the drugs were intended for personal use. Maximum penalty for drug trafficking is life imprisonment and a fine of HK$5 million (about P28 million). Singson’s court hearing will resume today.
At yesterday’s hearing, Singson said it was an argument with girlfriend Lovi Poe that drove him to go on an almost two-day cocaine binge before he was arrested at a Hong Kong airport in July. According to 24 Oras, the actress was said to have walked out of a concert she attended with Singson after she noticed the lawmaker’s ex-girlfriend was seated near them. Singson, a music promoter, supposedly gave his former flame a ticket.
Singson, 42, also admitted he used cocaine on and off since 2004. "Whenever I took (cocaine), I took large amounts, frequently every day," he told the court. He said he took four to five grams a day, costing as much as P25,000. Political and business-related stress, relationship problems and depression drove him to take the drugs, he said. "Even though I was successful in my own right, I didn’t feel happy," Inquirer.net quoted him as saying. He added that he was undergoing drug rehabilitation.
"I apologize to the people of Hong Kong... This was a very big mistake and in the process, I have ruined my name and reputation, embarrassing my family and causing pain to my girlfriend," Singson said in court, according to Inquirer.net. "I’ve never been more remorseful in my life... I ask you to find it in your heart to... sentence me with leniency."
His father, Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson who previously said he will personally end his son if he were a drug pusher, told Inquirer.net, "So far, so good... The problem is he (Ronald) tested negative for drug use... If we cannot prove that he is a user, the judge has no choice but to charge him with trafficking because if he won’t use it for himself, then he would sell it. It’s tough."
After the younger Singson’s court admission yesterday, several House representatives called for his resignation. Inquirer.net quoted Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello: "I feel Rep. Singson should resign instead of putting the House through the painful process of prosecuting and throwing him out on ethics charges. His doing so might shame and persuade others with higher crimes to resign as well."