5 people are reported to have died following an event over the weekend in the Philippines.
The victims (4 males, 1 female) were found unconscious after midnight during the “Closeup Forever Summer” outdoor music festival held at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds in Pasay City, Manila.
According to Coconuts Manila, an American national is among the victims and police are now in touch with the American Embassy. Rappler listed the 5 fatalities as Bianca Fontejon (18), Eric Anthony Miller (33, an American), Ariel Leal (22), and Lance Garcia (36). A 5th victim, Ken Migawa (18) later died at the San Juan de Dios Hospital.
Initial reports gathered by the police suggested that the victims lost consciousness while drinking at the event, sparking suspicions that they had consumed drinks laced with an illegal substance. There are also allegations on social media that the drinks were laced with Green Amore, a dangerous cocktail of ecstacy and shabu or cialis (a drug used to treat erectile dyscuntion) also known as “fly high“, “party”, or “superman” in the local party scene.
Word on the street is that they call it “fly high” because “you soar; the high is intense, and you keep on having sex”. Possible detrimental effects include ulcers caused by not eating for days on end, serious mental issues, and cardiovascular problems.
That having said, investigating officer Giovanni Arcinue told Agence France-Presse that the cause of the victims’ collapse was still unknown although police were looking at possible heatstroke or dehydration as the country is sweltering under high temperatures brought on by the El Niño weather phenomenon. He also said that it was too early to say that the deaths were caused by drug-laced drinks, despite the rumours on social media.
Meanwhile, the management of toothpaste brand Closeup, a subsidiary of Unilever, released a statement regarding the incident on its Facebook page. In their statement, Closeup said that they are “are deeply saddened by the events that transpired”, adding that “despite the very stringent measures and precautions we have put in place to ensure the safety and security of all attendees involved, this incident still transpired”.
Read their full statement below:
SM Supermalls President Annie Garcia, in a statement released on Sunday (22nd May), expressed sympathy on the “unfortunate incident”. “We would like to express our sympathies towards the unfortunate incident that happened at the Open Concert Grounds at MOA. We are assisting the event organisers, Close Up Phil., its agencies, and the authorities in the investigation,” she said.
A follow-up investigation into the cause of death is currently being conducted.
Closeup Forever Summer, billed as “the summer’s biggest rave party” and the last ever Closup Forever Summer, was held at the Mall of Asia on 21st May. The event featured current world #1 DJs/producers Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Julian Jordan, Mattn, and Goldfish & Blink, just to name a few.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims. Rest in peace.