The owner of a tea house and one of his customers died last night, while the customer’s boyfriend was hospitalized allegedly after drinking milk tea in Sampaloc, Manila on Thursday.
Owner William Abrigo of Ergo Cha Milk Tea House and customer Suzaine Dagohoy were declared dead on arrival at the Ospital ng Sampaloc.
Dagohoy’s boyfriend, Arnold Aydalla was reported to be in critical condition.
The incident happened just before 11 a.m. but was only reported to the Manila Police District (MPD) at around 8 p.m., according to case investigator Senior Police Officer 2 Jonathan Bautista.
Dagohoy allegedly ordered Hokkaido Milk Tea from Abrigo, who made the drink himself. Aydalla tasted the drink and vomited, prompting Dagohoy to taste it. She promptly felt ill.
Worried, Abrigo tasted the drink. In five minutes, both Abrigo and Dagohoy were dead. MPD homicide investigators are looking into the cause of their deaths.
Prior to the victims’ collapse, Abrigo kept saying there was nothing wrong with his products, Bautista said.
Investigators obtained surveillance camera footage to see if there was foul play, but an initial examination showed nothing suspicious occurred prior to the deaths.
According to Abrigo’s employee, who requested anonymity, it was not the first time that a customer complained about their products.
A month ago, when Abrigo’s son was in the store, a “foul-smelling” liquid was placed near the counter where they make the beverages, he said.
“It was the same smell I noticed before this incident happened,” the employee told The STAR.