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DoJ conducting parallel probe of Cebu resort incident

Puyat said he will coordinate with the Department of Justice for its proper action under the Disability Law, under which the aggrieved party may also file the complaint



The Department of Justice (DoJ) will conduct a parallel investigation on the alleged discrimination of a special child at the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he has received the letter of Department of Tourism (DoT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on the incident.

“As chief enforcer of the Magna Carta for disabled persons, the DoJ will conduct a parallel investigation of the plantation bay incident,” Guevarra said.

He added there is a possibility that he will tap the National Bureau of Investigation to probe the incident.

“Possible, but we have yet to determine the most expedient way to handle the situation. Our action in this regard may set a precedent for similar situations in the future,” said Guevarra.

The incident, about the frustration of a mom anent a resort official who allegedly mistreated her and her child with special needs went viral.

Netizens shared the post and their sentiments as well regarding the incident and asked the DoT to release a statement on the matter.

At a press conference, Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said, “The DoT already launched an investigation on the matter. And after due notice and hearing, we will give the proper administrative sanctions to the resort.”

Puyat said he will coordinate with the DoJ for its proper action under the Disability Law, under which the aggrieved party may also file the complaint.

Plantation Bay Resort and Spa came under fire when a resort guest identified as Mai Pages posted a negative review about the establishment.

Pages said she and her six-year-old son with autism were repeatedly told by the staff to keep quiet while staying at the pool.

Pages said she had explained that her son has autism that made him predisposed to having squeals of delight when he is happy or excited, but a staff supposedly continued to tell them to keep it down.

The resort’s resident shareholder Manny Gonzalez instead tried to school Pages about autism and accused her of lying about their experience.

Gonzalez attributed lack of discipline due to simple parental neglect for Pages’ son’s behavior though he also apologized.

Special need
Meanwhile, Chief presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said people in the hotel and resorts business should understand the special needs of an autistic child and avoid discriminating them.

“You have to understand the peculiarities, the inadequacies, the special needs of the autistic child. Those kinds of special children have their own world,” Panelo said during his ‘Counterpoint’ program aired over government-run television station People’s Television Network on Thursday.