A woman’s account of being physically attacked and verbally abused by a Canadian in Cebu has gone viral on social media.
Facebook user Janet Vino gave the following account of the incident:
I was on the way to Ayala to buy ingredients for “Bicol express”.
Suddenly, a drunk Canadian citizen punched the front and back of our car. I got out asking what was that for.
He replied saying, “All Cebuanas are prostitutes. What do you want? How much? I want to have sex with you tonight”.
I told him that “he’s got balls to say that to my face, repeat that, and I will record it.”
He was so wild & drunk. He punched me & kicked me in the stomach. I was able to block his punch intended for my face with my left arm. He ran afterwards.
I saw a taxi, and told him to follow that foreigner because he punched & kicked me. When he saw me in the taxi, he hopped in tried punching me, but the taxi driver helped me and was caught by all his punches.
Later on, more people had seen what was going on, until an off duty police officer tried talking to the Canadian guy. He was wild, and saying he doesn’t believe that guy was a police. More police came to arrest him.
At the police station, I pressed charges for sexual assault. He was trying to settle the case by bribing me & the policemen, saying “come on, there is always a price for women in Cebu. All women here are prostitutes, so accept my offer. All policemen are corrupt.”
His name is Benjamin Besaw. He has previous record before for punching a woman, but it was settled. He might think that I will settle as well, but I won’t. I want him to know that not all women can be bought & not all Cebuanas are what he thinks we are.
Thank you to the taxi driver & the policemen in Mabolo & Gorordo stations who helped me.
After the story spread like wildfire across social media, Ms Vino attempted to stave off a torrent of anti-foreigner rhetoric that it had prompted.
When I said Canadian or foreigner, I didn’t mean it in negative way. Because of brevity, trying to get my thoughts out as quickly as possible, and the fact that he kept telling me and the police that he was a Canadian and that we, as Filipinos, cannot do anything to make him accountable and face justice.
I have friends, both local and foreign. Race and country of origin isn’t the issue here. It’s his behavior and actions that are the issue, and it will be dealt with by our legal system.
Ms Vino, a native of Pampanga, and the taxi driver, Euvin Gimena, are now pressing charges against Besaw who remains in custody at the Gorordo police precinct.
According to a report in The Inquirer today (Monday, July 9) he has not yet secured the services of a lawyer.