An Australian man living in the Philippines and who was under police custody was released after a CCTV footage proved that he was falsely accused of dealing drugs and wrongfully arrested by authorities.
The footage by 7.30 clearly contradicts the reports by the authorities as it shows the exact moment the authorities who were in civilian clothing knocked on his hotel room and forcefully arrested him.
Damian Berg, who has been living with his Filipina partner named Marvie Lucresio, does not know why he became the target. However, he has reason to believe that the ex-partner of his girlfriend set him up.
According to ABC News, the arrest happened on June 21, in Red Planet Hotel in Manila, while he was inside his room located on the third floor of the hotel. It was around 11:00pm when the group of armed men barged into his room.
“Five or six guys came busting in, Filipino guys with drawn firearms,” he said. “I was told to shut up, not to say anything. And you do, ’cause they’ve got the guns, you’ve got no choice. I thought it was a robbery,” he added.
It was only after his hands were tied and brought into the elevator when the men confirmed that they were the police.
I was [petrified], I thought we were going down to get shot for sure.
The police then accused him of selling drugs on the street. They added that an undercover police officer was one of his clients.
His life spiraled downwards after that day.
He used to have a good life: a pregnant partner, a good job, and a bright future.
Me and Marvie had planned to have a family, we thought it was that time to settle down.
Thankfully, the CCTV footage was presented in court. The footage was obtained by his partner who convinced the hotel guard not to delete the footage.
The footage was then subpoenaed from the hotel. It “belied the claim of the prosecution … and destroyed the integrity of their testimonies”.
The Australian man was acquitted on September 15 and is now free.
He and his partner are now back in Australia, enjoying their freedom he thought he would never have again.