Foreigner in the Philippines saved by CCTV
11 days before President Duterte assumed office, Mr. Berg, an Australian working in the Philippines as a contract administrator for First Balfour, an engineering company, has been arrested and charged for selling illegal drugs specifically “ecstasy”.
According to police testimonies, he was arrested in a buy bust operation in the streets of Makati while he was selling 50 ecstasy tablets to another foreigner, Jeremy Eaton, a Canadian.
Mr. Berg’s Testimony
But Mr. Berg’s statements were different from what the police were saying. He said he was working on a report inside a hotel when the police raided his room and arrested him and not in the streets as testified by the police. He also goes on to say that the police were extorting money from him.
Nevertheless, he was locked in jail for a month with 15 other prisoners in Makati City Jail.
A little over 3 months have passed, Septermber 15, Damian John Berg, 35 years old, charged in violation of RA 9165, was acquitted and set free. The court found evidence in the hotel’s CCTV security system that Mr. Berg is indeed telling the truth that he was removed from his room, tied, and taken out on the streets by the police.
The CCTV footage alone may have saved Mr. Berg’s life but that same life will never be the same again. He is now back in Australia and decided to live there with his Filipina girlfriend who was then pregnant when he was arrested.
Duterte’s War on Drugs
This incident happened on June 20, 2016, 11 days before Rodrigo Duterte was sworn into the Office of the President. At this point in time, Duterte was the presumptive President of the Philippines after winning the May elections. While it is true that Duterte had influenced the PNP before he became President on June 30, 2016, this was at a time that he has no control yet of the police force. General Ronaldo “Bato” Dela Rosa was sworn as PNP Chief a day after Duterte became President.
Having a CCTV system in the area is a big help for the police but in this situation, the police lost their case. Even a low resolution, low quality CCTV system such as used in this case was able to reveal the truth of what has happened. But Mr. Berg was just so lucky to have been in a hotel where staff can identify who went in and who went out. If this happened on a barangay street like in this road rage case, the case would have continued because it would have been difficult to identify the people seen in the CCTV footage.
Right Security Solutions can help you install the most ideal CCTV System for your environment. Give us a call today.