Terror, Duterte Style Rule of Panglao Mayor Drives Tourists Away During Peak Season

More than three hundred guests and employees of Villa Tomasa Alona Kew Resort in Panglao, Bohol remain in shock more than a week after it was allegedly shutdown by force by Mayor Edgardo “Boy” Arcay.

Smartphone video footage taken by someone inside the resort shows dozens of police in battlegear and men armed with shotguns entering the Villa Tomasa Alona Kew resort led by someone who looks like Mayor Arcay.

More video footage from inside the resort show people huddled together crying in apparent fright and also reveal guests or employees groping around in its hallways after the resort’s power was cut.

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A man with a megaphone accompanied by several others was also recorded on video blaring announcements that the resort had been closed and orders for people to leave immediately as men with shotguns roamed the resort.

The incident has reportedly scared off tourists from visiting Panglao and brought about booking cancellations as a result of the threatening closure of the resort.

In a statement by the resort’s management published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, it said, ““We, the management of the Villa Tomasa- Alona Kew Hotel Resort, have expressed fear and utmost disappointment to the recent action taken by some individuals headed by Panglao, Bohol Mayor Edgardo “Boy” Arcay for using excessive force to close out their resort two weeks ago.”

As reported in other national and local newspapers, it was said that Panglao Mayor Arcay refused to approve permits for Villa Tomasa for reasons not specified by the mayor.

Villa Tomasa still has still four years left from the five-year lease agreement and had presumably made substantial investments into the resort.

A source claims that Arcay’s refusal to grant permits may be politically motivated and may be favoring another business entity, thus perhaps prompting the resort’s legal team to state:

“The management also warns unscrupulous individuals who will be taking advantage of the resort’s current situation not to go to any negotiations without the full knowledge of the owner of the Villa Tomasa-Alona Kew Hotel Resort.”

Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1939565/bohol-resort-managements-comment-on-closure-order-against-them#ixzz8ajeekCmS

As a result of the reportedly violent closure of the resort, criminal as well as administrative complaints have been filed against Mayor Arcay and those who implemented his orders.

According to one of several complaints filed, the allegations include “Kidnapping and Serious Illegal detention, Violation of the Anti Terror Law, Robbery by band, Grave Coercion”.

So far, there are no reports regarding the response of the Mayor Arcay and those named in the complaints.

The DILG has been expected to issue a statement regarding the violent closure of the resort but has remained silent. This has prompted observers from Panglao as well as other areas to question on social media the department’s lack of concern over the use of excessive force that terrorized tourists and possibly damaged the country’s reputation as a tourist destination.

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