A British woman visiting Pamilacan Island in Bohol province has complained of being sexually harassed by the owner of the resort she was staying at.
The 29-year-old tourist — whose name has been withheld by police — has been left upset and shaken after her stay on the white-sand destination.
After returning to Tagbilaran, she filed a report with the city tourism officer against Gwendolyn “Weng-Weng” Baugbog, the owner of Nita’s Nipa Hut resort.
The victim claimed that Mr Baugbog groped her while they were snorkelling last Sunday (March 18) and later pestered her for sex.
However, Mr Baugbog — the father of two daughters — denies the allegations, saying he would never jeopardise his family’s livelihood in such a way.
“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.”
Senior Inspector Raymond Halasan, chief of Baclayon Police Station, said the complainant was a solo traveller who had booked one of Mr Baugbog’s beachside cottages on Pamilacan.
Relating the tourist’s complaint, he said that while Mr Baugbog was guiding her on an afternoon snorkelling excursion, he suddenly grabbed her hand and placed it on his crotch, asking: “Don’t you like this?”
The tourist said she tried to swim away from Mr Baugbog, but he then agressively pushed himself on her while groping her. He allegedly asked her: “Don’t you want this?”
The tourist says she replied sternly, saying: “No!”
According to her report, she then fled and locked herself inside her room for the rest of the day.
However, she then claimed that Mr Baugbog arrived outside her door at about 1am and woke her up, repeatedly asking: “Can I sleep with you?”
Mr Baugbog, aged 37, has denied the allegation. Speaking to the Inquirer today, he said he only grabbed her hand while snorkelling to prevent her from being carried away by strong waves. He added there were other people present at the time.
The morning after her alleged assault, the tourist left Pamilacan and checked into a hotel in Tagbilaran, where she sought the help of the city’s tourism office to assist her in filing a police report.
Sr. Insp. Halasan said she was shaking and crying when she made her complaint on Tuesday afternoon.
He added that would no longer file a complaint against Mr Baugbog for the assault, but wanted the authorities to shut his resort after it was discovered he was operating without a business permit. The case has now been forwarded to the Baclayon mayor’s office for further consideration.
On TripAdvisor Nita’s Nipa Hut resort has a five star rating, with all guests ranking it as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ without any complaints recorded.