A Canadian and Australian have been arrested in Makati City after a police buy-bust anti-drug operation on Monday.
Canadian Jeremy Eaton, and Australian Damian John Berg were arrested by PNP officers after police bought 120 tablets of blue ‘cookie monster’ ecstasy from Eaton.
The same officer also bought 50 ecstasy tablet from Berg just a short time later in the same region of Makati.
Police say the two suspects are connected to the drug pushing scene in the Makati area – they are also linked to the Close-up Forever Summer Concert incident that killed five people including a 33-year-old American.
Police say an investigation into the matter showed that Berg and Eaton are part of a major syndicate in the metro Manila area, as well as other cities in nearby communities.
Foreign Drug Dealers Deny Involvement
The two suspects denied the drugs they sold to undercover police are actually theirs. Eaton said: “I was arrested on the lobby with no drugs on me.”
Once arrested the two were caught with a total of 255,000 pesos worth of street drugs and 100,000 pesos in marked money.
Both suspects will be charged with violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
Berg’s father says it’s “like a ton of bricks”
The father of Damian Berg was interviewed by the Adelaide Advertiser on Wednesday and has said that the news was “like a ton of bricks”.
The family have been in touch with Australia’s DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) who have told them that Damian is in custody and “being treated well.”
Berg was in the Philippines working as a contract administrator and has not been home for over a year. He continues to strenuously deny the charges against him saying “I have no purpose selling ecstasy. I have a good paying job.”
Berg’s family were unaware that he had been arrested until they were contacted by the media today. The reaction was one of shock and the response one of family solidarity.
“As a family we’ll support him as much as we can. We love you, hang in there,” said Geoff Berg, Damian’s father.
The Australian media, along with the Berg family themselves have also raised concerns about the possible introduction of the death penalty for all drug offenses by president-elect Duterte.
Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop said on Wednesday that it was too soon to speculate on the exact likely outcome of Berg’s arrest but did confirm that Australian consular officials were providing support to a detained Australian in Manila.