American arrested for attacking couple at Cebu hotel insists he is the victim

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Cebu hotel

An American who was arrested for allegedly attacking a couple in a Cebu hotel room has insisted he is the victim of a scam.

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Michael Philpott has said it was the actually Jose Froilan Ariosa and his wife, Annaliza Ariosa, who broke into his room and created trouble on January 4.

However, Mr Philpott was arrested and detained for nearly a week after being accused of hitting the couple with a frying pan at the Osmeña Boulevard hotel.

He has been charged with attempted murder and “slight physical injury”.

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Speaking after the incident, Chief Inspector Eduard Sanchez said Mr Philpott knocked on the couple’s room and after Annaliza opened the door, she was hit in her left hip with a frying pan. Mr Philpott then charged at Jose and gave him a beating. Annaliza asked help from the security guard of the Cebu hotel, but the guard could not subdue Mr Philpott because of his “enormous build”.

Mr Philpott absolutely refutes this version of events. “Not even close,” he said. “It was a setup where Tata [Jose] and Annaliza break into my room to start trouble, then call their gang of drivers to fight me and have me arrested,” Philpott said in an e-mail to the Freeman newspaper.

Mr Philpott also said that Annaliza went to the doctor despite not sustaining any injuries.

In their investigation, police suggested that a business dispute was behind the altercation. 

However, Mr Philpott said he had previously refused to do business with the couple. It was this refusal, he said, that was a possible motivation for the conflict. 

“They had three drivers sitting around doing nothing, ready to gang up on me and then accuse me of murder because I did not want to do business with them,” he said.

Police investigations are continuing and Mr Philpott remains on bail.

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