The Scotsman who was shot in the chest by robbers just hours before his wedding in Talisay City last week has pledged: “I intend to have fun in my second life”.
His best man, who witnessed the shooting, has also spoken about problems dealing with police and hospital staff since the incident.
As we previously reported, Tarek Naggar lucky to survive when he was shot at point-blank range by motorcycle-riding thieves who made off with just 500 pesos.
His survival was all the more remarkable as an ambulance failed to turn up and he had to be taken to hospital on a trike.
According to doctors, the bullet ricocheted off his ribs, missing his heart by millimetres and ending up in a lung.
On Saturday (July 29), after he was released from hospital following nine days of treatment, he told Scotland’s Sunday Herald: “Obviously I am here for a reason. Whatever that is I am keen to find out.”
His best man, Chris McLaughlin, a friend of Mr Naggar since their schooldays in Milngavie, near Glasgow, witnessed the early-morning shooting as did Tarek’s fiancée Angie Bacaron.
More than 150 guests had flown in from all over the world to attend the big day.
His medical treatment has cost more than half-a-million pesos so far, which has partly been covered by a fundraising appeal.
Mr Naggar was due to be released on Friday, but the doctor did not turn up to sign his release forms.
It later turned out that the real reason for the delay was that more money was needed. “We had to pay around 150,000 pesos, about £2,200,” Mr McLaughlin said.
Mr Naggar, his bride-to-be and best man waited all day yesterday for his release to be signed-off. “Tarek was starting to lose the plot,” said Mr McLaughlin, “and they were threatening to call security, which probably indicates he is getting better.”
It was not until last night that the deal was done and Mr Naggar was eventually released. But because there was no doctor to remove the drain tubes and the staples in his chest he will have to wait until next Friday for follow-up treatment.
Asked whether the British embassy in Manila had been helpful, Mr McLaughlin said: “Not that I can tell. After the Foreign Office called them initially they picked their game up and called the hospital. But since then, we’ve heard nothing.”
The police also dragged their feel investigating the robbery, not interviewing Mr Naggar or Miss Bacaron until a week later. “They have still not spoken to me,” Mr McLaughlin said.
“They passed 15 photos of suspects to Angie on her phone and asked her to ask me if I recognised anyone. Two of them, one more than the other, looked likely.
“But because of the rough justice meted out here I wasn’t going to say until I was 100 per cent sure. The police still haven’t asked me about it.”
Friends, family and well-wishers have chipped in to help pay the medical bills. A crowd funding appeal – here – has so far raised £4,200, or about 300,000 pesos.