Unilever, Close-up execs charged over concert deaths

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The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed criminal charges against executives of Close-up and Unilever Philippines in connection with the death of five persons during a concert at the Mall of Asia Arena last year.

Charged at the Department of Justice were Rojit Jawa, then the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Philippines and currently South East Asia executive vice-president for operations; Alberto Curnelius Trinidad, marketing director for Close-Up; Joy Dalanon-Ocampo, country manager for safety, health and environment; Melissa Alcayaga, procurement manager; Bea Lagdameo, Close-Up assistant brand manager; Michelle Suzanne Claire Quintana, president and CEO; Anna Kristina Doctolero, project manager; Baby Majalia Ahamadul, senior accounts manager of Activations Advertising, Inc.; Jesus M. Canlapan, manager for Workplace Services and Facility Security; Reginald M. Soriano; Eduardo Muego; John Paul Demontaño, owner/president of Hyperhouse Production Corp.; and Alexis Engelberto Aragon, owner of Delirium Manpower Services.

Edison and Bibiane Fontejon, Gemma L. Miyagawa and Conrado R. Leal, the parents of three of the victims, filed a complaint at the NBI days after the “Close-Up Forever Summer” held on May 21, 2016.

The concert party ended in tragedy when Ariel D. Leal, 22; Lance F. Garcia, 36; Ken Miyagawa, 18; Bianca Fontejon, 18; and Eric Anthony Miller, 33, an American, were found unconscious. It was later discovered that the victims had “dangerous drugs metabolites.”


An autopsy showed that Fontejon and Kigawa had massive heart attacks.

The parents of the victims said the organizers of the “Forever Summer 2016” party should be held criminally liable for their failure to control and stop the proliferation of party drugs during the event.

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