A Canadian man has been sentenced to life in prison for his part is attempting to sell ecstasy in Makati, Manila.
34-year-old Jeremy Eaton was arrested in June along with Australian Damian Berg. Under the ‘swift prosecution’ terms of President Duterte’s war on drugs, the foreigner is one of the first ever to be arrested and sentenced in such a quick manner in the Philippines.
Eaton was also ordered by the court to pay a 500,000 peso fine. Drug cases in the past took as long as three years to resolve, longer if the drug suspect was able delay sentencing.
Enrico Rigor, legal head of the the police’s anti-illegal drugs group said: “The judiciary has expedited the prosecution of drug cases, and police are now more active, so drug cases are really resolved quickly.” Eaton’s case took just three months from arrest to conviction.
Eaton told reporters that he was innocent when arrested, saying: “I walked into the building, I was jumped from behind, told I’m arrested. I was searched, I had nothing on my body. I never had anything. I think I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Eaton’s conviction was based on the sale of 160 ecstasy tablets that he and Australian Damian Berg were alleged to have sold together.
Both Berg and Eaton have both protested their innocence since being arrested. The court’s decision went as far as to insult Eaton by saying his denial could “easily be concocted and is a common and standard defence ploy”.
Berg was cleared last month after CCTV footage emerged that proved he was framed by police. He was acquitted on September 15 and returned to Australia.