A Canadian man has been jailed for life for selling 160 tablets of ecstasy, with his swift prosecution part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, police said Thursday.
Jeremy Eaton, 34, was also ordered to pay a fine of P500,000 after he was arrested in a raid in June in the financial district of Makati, police said.
They said Eaton’s prosecution, done in just three months, was part of Duterte’s aggressive campaign against illegal drugs. The crackdown has left more than 3,000 people dead and sparked global condemnation for alleged extrajudicial killings.
“The judiciary has expedited the prosecution of drug cases, and police are now more active so drug cases are really resolved quickly,” Enrico Rigor, legal head of the national police’s anti-illegal drugs group, said.
Drug cases in the Philippines usually take several years to resolve, Rigor added.
Eaton had insisted on his innocence.
“I walked into the building, I was jumped from behind, told I’m arrested,” he told reporters shortly after his arrest.
“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.”
The court decision, dated August 31, said his denial could “easily be concocted and is a common and standard defense ploy”.
Eaton was arrested along with Australian Damian Berg, who also denied selling ecstasy but whose case is ongoing.
Eaton’s conviction was announced in the same week police arrested two local celebrities for allegedly possessing and selling drugs.