Canadian national Jeremy Eaton, 34 years old, is set to be in jail in the Philippines for life after he was arrested and charged for possession of illegal drugs
He was caught in possession of 160 tablets of Ecstacy in June earlier this year together with Australian national Damien John Berg.
Ecstacy is one of the prohibited party drugs under Republic Act 9165, or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
On top of the life imprisonment sentence, Eaton was also imposed an additional fine of PHP500,000 (roughly $10,000).
Eaton’s sentence was promulgated just three months after he was charged, which is a significantly shorter time than most of the cases handled by the judiciary, and considering the slow crawl of the justice system in the Philippines.
Enrico Rigor, a member of the Camp Crame’s anti-narcotics group said that the judiciary has expedited the prosecution of drugs cases. This is on top of the police being more active in resolving drug cases.
The arrest and prosecution of Eaton came in the heat of President Rodrigo Duterte’s aggressive war on drugs.
For his part, although Eaton was already sentenced by a competent court of being guilty beyond reasonable doubt on the drug charges, he maintains that he is innocent and that he is not in any way involved with the illegal drug trade in the country.
He said he was jumped from behind when he walked into a building, and was subsequently told that he was under arrest. He said he had nothing on his body when he was searched, and also said that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Meanwhile, Kristine Racicot, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, said that the Canadian consular officials are already providing services to Eaton and his family. However, they cannot release further details on the case in order to safeguard Eaton’s privacy.
Eaton is only one of the many foreign nationals arrested by the Philippine National Police for their involvement with drugs in the Philippines.
Earlier this month, two Hong Kong nationals along with a Russian national were also arrested at Ninoy Aquino International Airport for being in possession of almost PHP130 million worth of cocaine.