An Australian-British prisoner in the Philippines argues that officials falsified evidence.

Elden Chamberlain, 60, will take on the nation’s top drug enforcement organisation in his defence while he is being jailed on narcotics accusations he rejects.

An Australian-born public health expert who is facing life in prison on drug-related accusations has spoken out to declare his innocence and claim that the authorities were responsible for framing him.

Since being arrested in a spectacular raid on his home by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency police in February of last year, Elden Chamberlain, 60, has been held in the Cagayan de Oro City Jail.

He has been charged with possessing and distributing methamphetamine for 1,000 Philippine pesos ($27), which he claims is “entirely false.”

Mr. Chamberlain, who is well-known throughout the world for his work in HIV/AIDS and public health, was working with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria when he and colleague Ace Lanzaderas were detained.

One thousand pesos, according to Mr. Chamberlain, “would not even buy a bottle of wine,” and he maintains that he would never jeopardise his “comfortable” life to take part in a drug sale.

He said that the police had made up the allegations against him and expressed his desire for the cops to face consequences for their “despicable actions.”

In the next few months, he expects the accusations to be dropped, and he has promised to leave the country as soon as he is free.

I want to be a good guy, Mr. Chamberlain remarked in an interview with The West Australian while he was still in jail.

Nothing in this place will change until people speak up. I believe it’s critical to speak out on behalf of everyone in this room who is experiencing the same agony as I am.
On Thursday, his defence case was scheduled to begin.

Mr. Chamberlain is perplexed as to why PDEA agents singled him out, but he thinks it might have been because of the work he did to assist drug addicts in getting HIV care.

“My entire career has been dedicated to protecting and assisting those in our communities who are most vulnerable to HIV, TB, and substance abuse,” he stated.

In my professional life, I have made it a priority to make sure that drug users get the attention and care they need.

It is incomprehensible that I would do anything so wicked as to aid in the development of substance abuse and addiction—the same issues I work to eradicate.

Mr. Chamberlain remembered the night in February 2022 when his life abruptly changed and he began to fear for his survival.

Thirty armed officers burst into his gated community home as he was sitting in front of the TV with a glass of wine after finishing a business phone call.

He shouted, “Buy bust,” as the last person entered the room and pushed me to the ground. Ace (his co-accused), who had been working at the table, and I were both held at gunpoint on the living room floor. And they simply let loose inside the house,” recalled Mr. Chamberlain.

He asserted that cops allegedly held the two people at gunpoint after dragging them upstairs into a dimly lit area.

In all honesty, I believed I was going to die, Mr. Chamberlain acknowledged.
They are known for merely killing people, so I assumed that was all they did. They’re going to shoot us.

His arrest took place during the ‘war on drugs’ that former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte waged, which resulted in thousands of fatalities.

According to Human Rights Watch, the police, especially the PDEA, fabricated evidence to support homicides; the International Criminal Court is currently looking into this.

British-born Mr. Chamberlain was raised in the southwest of Western Australia before migrating to Perth, where he attended Curtin University and earned his degree.

He has worked with organisations including the United Nations, USAID, and AusAID as part of his career in public health.

His remaining relatives in Western Australia are heartbroken at Mr. Chamberlain’s situation and are hoping for a successful resolution.

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