Restaurant where ex-US soldier suffered fatal blows closed
DUMAGUETE CITY—The city government has padlocked a restaurant where a retired American soldier had been beaten to death.
After giving the Zanzibar Restaurant and Lounge a seven-day notice to cease operating, city officials decided to close it down for lack of mayor’s and business permits.
William Ablong, city administrator, said the closure order, signed by Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria, was served on Thursday but the restaurant owner, Loraie Rosal, was not around.
It was at the restaurant where Phil Prins, a retired member of the US Armed Forces, was beaten up by four suspects, identified as restaurant workers Glyn Eltagunde and Michael Lim, and two teenagers identified only as Nono and Jinky.
The suspects were identified through footage of a closed-circuit television camera that captured how the American was beaten to death.
The footage showed that Prins appeared to be arguing with the four suspects prior to the beating.
It also showed the suspects fleeing after the American fell unconscious. Prins was brought to a hospital where he died three days after the beating.
The victim was a freelance photographer and taught journalism classes at Foundation University in the city. He served in the US Army for five years, which included a combat tour in Iraq from 2004 to 2005.
His close friend and colleague, Paul Benzi Florendo, said Prins was a good man and thoughtful friend.
“He had PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), but he never hit anyone,” Florendo said.
“Sometimes when he gets drunk, he talks about the war and how it often makes one choose between one’s life and another’s,” he said.
“When he drinks, he recalls the world’s many forms of injustice and they make him angry,” Florendo added.
“But when he realizes that his [tone of voice] offended you, he would apologize to you,” he said. Carine Asutilla-Lapid, Maya Jajalla and Judy Flores-Partlow, Inquirer Visayas
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