British tourist claims harassment from Bohol resort owner
BACLAYON, Bohol-What was supposed to be a memorable vacation had turned into a nightmare for this female British tourist who was sexually harassed by a resort owner on Pamilacan Island, Baclayon town in Bohol province.
The 29-year-old tourist (name withheld by authorities) sought the help of the city tourism officer in Tagbilaran to file a report against Gwendolyn “Weng-Weng” Baugbog, owner of Nita’s Nipa Hut.
The victim claimed that the suspect groped her while they were snorkeling on March 18 and persisted on having sex with her.
But Baugbog, a father of three daughters, denied the allegation, saying he would never do such a thing and put in jeopardy their livelihood that was providing for his family.
“I cannot do such nasty and disgusting things to my visitors,” he said. “If I do such a thing, it would be like killing my family because this livelihood is providing for my family.”
The victim was a solo traveler staying in one of Baugbog’s cottages, according to Senior Insp. Raymond Halasan, chief of Baclayon Police Station.
Baugbog, he added, was one of the drug surrenderees during Oplan Tokhang, a police campaign to appeal to drug personalities to surrender.
Pamilacan Island, located at least 14 km from the Baclayon pier, is bestowed with alluring white sand beaches and amazing aquatic life.
Halasan said Baugbog was guiding the victim around 4:30 p.m. on March 18, as she was snorkeling off Pamilacan Island when he suddenly grabbed her hand and placed it on his crotch.
“Don’t you like this?” Halasan quoted Baugbog as telling the victim.
The victim swam away from Baugbog to the waiting boat.
But the suspect allegedly became aggressive and pushed himself on her while touching her private parts.
“Don’t you want this?” Baugbog reportedly asked the victim.
The victim vehemently told him, “No!”
Halasan said the victim was able to flee and lock herself inside her room for the rest of the day.
But Baugbog, he added, allegedly started knocking on her door at 1 a.m. on Monday, throwing stones on her room and using a flashlight to wake her up.
“Can I sleep with you?” Baugbog asked the victim.
But the victim didn’t get out of the room.
On Monday morning, the victim checked out from the resort and went to the town proper.
She then checked in a hotel in the capital city of Tagbilaran where she sought the help of the city’s tourism office to assist her in filing a police report.
Halasan said the victim was shaking and crying while narrating her ordeal on Tuesday afternoon.
But Baugbog, 37, told the Inquirer on Thursday that he was confused why the tourist accused him of groping her when he only grabbed her hand to prevent her from being carried away by the strong waves.
He added there were people in the area when he accompanied the tourist.
Halasan said the tourist would no longer file a complaint against Baugbog but wanted the authorities to shut down the resort for operating without a business permit.
Halasan said the case had been forwarded to the Baclayon mayor’s office for action against Baugbog for constructing small cottages without a permit from the local government.
Baugbog said he was working on the business permit for the small nipa huts that he took over from his mother.
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