06 November 2008

Australian Held Hostage On Boracay

Australian Resort Owner Held Hostage Over Disputed Boracay Lot

MANILA, Philippines — An Australian resort owner on Thursday complained that he and his family were being held by armed men inside their home on world-renowned Boracay island resort in Aklan province.

Greg Hutchinson complained that he and his wife Viveca and their five-year-old twins were holed up inside their apartment beside the family-owned Sandcastles Resort Hotel.

He told reporters in Manila by phone that the heavily armed men in ski masks barged inside the resort on Wednesday night, forcing guests and staff to leave. He said electricity and telephone connections to his residence.

He said the incident is related to an “organized campaign" to force him out of the island.

Hutchinson deplored what was happening, considering that he was one of those who helped build Boracay into a world-renowned beach resort.

"When we opened SandCastles in 1989 there were just 10 resorts here … now there are over a hundred," he said.

"This type of intimidation has been going on for three years. We thought it had stopped," Hutchinson had earlier been reported saying.

"This is the way things are done in the Philippines. There are certain elements in the country who wait until you develop something, make a success of it and then they move in and force you out so they can reap the rewards," he said.

The Australian Embassy said it was in close contact with the Hutchinsons and the Boracay police, who assured them that they are on the scene to resolve the matter.

“An Australian family contacted the embassy to inform us that (they) are being prevented from leaving the resort it owns by a group of armed men," embassy press officer Kiel Enrique said in a text message.


Dear Readers,
Now this is not the first dispute over land/lease on the island of Boracay.
It's the start of many prolonged battles/wars to come.
I'm almost sure more people will die fighting over Boracay's precious land.
Because some already have.
But it is the first actual hostage situation that I can recall.
It's crazy... like a fox.

People have been murdered on Boracay, because of title disputes and lease disputes already.
But you NEVER hear about it.
They're just dead security guards.
And they are not at all important in the bigger picture.
Expendable staff I call them in this case.

Boracay is a Cowboy Island in many ways, for sure.
But I love it more than any place I've ever been to.
It's incredible.......... but it's still the Philippines.
So same same same.

Life is so easily snuffed out in the Philippines.
It's totally crazy.
The stuff I'm sent to read blows my mind.
This Australian guy should be VERY careful.
It's so cheap/affordable to have someone killed there.

When this blog first started, someone wrote me and told me that you know who... had someone murdered in the late 90's.
Over a debt I was told.
A BIG debt.
MUCH bigger than his debt to me.
I have also been told many many many times that Aurora Montano had her husband murdered so she could be with her current partner.

Murder murder murder.

It's crazy.

Now I did not write about it fully at the time because well, I was in total shock.
But for various reasons, I do believe it now.
Because more than one person has confirmed that this 'could have' happened.
I was told in Manila that DJ could have me killed for 20,000 pesos...... not that he had 20,000 pesos (DJ SHOULD have spent my money, and had me done in.....I bet you he regrets it now).
But it's cheaper on Boracay (Montano actually told me that one day after we fought.... why would he say that to me?), I know that for sure.

I have to say when I lived on Boracay that the police seemed to do a fine job.
Violence was very rare although the amount of murders was shocking considering it's a tiny island.
And the security guards are corrupt. The stories I could tell with regards to extortion.
It's mind boggling.
Ask Yap.

Does anyone know how many people have been murdered on Boracay in the last three years?

Having mentioned that, I must say that the tourist police were great and very visible, especially around D'Mall. It was always a very safe place night or day.
.....But there is only so much they can do on bikes.
I've always said that Boracay Island was the safest place I've ever lived, and I walked freely always, and NEVER felt in danger or in any way nervous. The entire time I lived there, not a single thing happened to me or anyone I know.
News travels so fast on the island, so everyone pretty much knew everything before hitting Judes/Juice for the night. Texting is huge of course.
I'm much more cautious of my safety here in Toronto.

But this new government decision is about to cause some problems.
I'm getting e mails.


......In the Philippines, the foreigner will always lose the battle at days end.
The research is baffling and only confirms this statement.
The Philippines 'system' is designed to take take take your money and when the system is through with you, the whole thing goes pear shaped VERY quickly.
You really have no leg to stand on unless you work for an foreign company and have some leverage.
Illegal deportation happens far to often in Cowboy Country.

Signing a legal document in the Philippines means absolutely nothing at the end of the day. Just a prolonged expensive court case against people who will lie at the bat of an eyelash to get their way.
It's just totally corrupt in every way.
Contracts are used to start fires.
It's all a joke when it comes time to fight for what you KNOW is true and righteous.
Because you will lose.
Unless you speak fluent Tagalog.
And you find a 'great' lawyer.
And they're like finding hens teeth in Manila.

The corruption is sooooo rife, that the chance of you having any success against your 'Montano' is tiny.
Anything and everything goes and westerners really can't cope with the ways and means certain people will go to in order to get more money or more land which is the case here on Boracay. These greedy people want their land back before the proper time. They are scamming the Australian.
It's all a big giant scam.
Like a massive Ponzi scheme.

If I were a foreigner, I would think twice about getting involved with business on Boracay or anywhere in the Philippines at the moment, unless you are 10000% protected, and you KNOW the system.
Boracay is precious.
For real estate agents and 'greed propelled bully/fear merchants'.

If you don't know the system in the Philippines, just have a beautiful holiday or a incredible extended one like I did. Because Boracay is #1.
......Then go home.
But if you're super keen, well by all means, invest.
My friends who were building property there had tales for us every morning over breakfast.
He was always on guard I'd say.

But tears/heartache are inevitable, and the foundation that you think you feel under your feet/own and stand upon has cracked before the ink is even dry on your 'contracts'.
It's a very 'sophisticated' wide spread form of trickle down corruption.
Every tier is corrupt to some degree.
So you're fucked.
Trust me.
Trust no one.

You may think you're secure there with your land and your business, but around every corner is a well connected Filipino family or a 'potential resort' that will do ANYTHING in a battle to win and get that land.
Including land dispute murders which are more common then you may think.
People have NO idea.
Even those on Boracay are left in the dark in most cases.
You're never secure no matter what documents and proof you have.
Even of course, if you're Filipino.
I really worry.
If you come up against a well connected person when your business is threatened, it's game over before your shoes are laced up I'm afraid.
You will be intimidated and eventually worn down.
Lawyers will tell you to walk/run away from everything... because they know.
If you're not a Filipino, well good luck.

And if they think you have money, well naturally, they all want it.
It's a third world country and people can be very tricky.
Sinister in fact.
Even your friends........

......And just because you are married to a Filipino, you are not guaranteed any extra protection. Like I said, documents can be reduced to nothingness as quick as you can say, "But I've invested everything".
As you all know, Filipina's can only do so much to help against such awesome odds. Maybe Lola can pull some strings, but that's it.
Chances are, you will lose everything and you could be deported.
But if you have everything taken from you, you will have to leave anyways.
You can't survive the system in the Philippines without lots of smarts and lots of money.

The Boracay property network is on fire.
It's a MAD grab and snatch now.
At the cost of everything else.
THEY won't be happy until the island is a former shadow, of the former shadow of itself.
In many cases, it's the people who claim to love Boracay soooo much, are the very same people driving it into the ground.
It's ironical.
People party and leave.
But what they leave behind needs help.

How many security guards have been murdered on Boracay protecting their masters property?

No matter who you are in the press, you will never break the Boracay code.
It's dangerous and you will always lose unless you are VERY connected.
Story's from Boracay never make it to Manila.
Only glossy pictures of the GG et al.
And that's why everyone loves it so much.
It's a double edged sword.

I hope the Australian sorts it all out.
He's not the first bloke who would've lost his shirt in the Philippines.
And his pants, or shoes for that matter.
Christ, I lost my dental floss!
He took it all.

Gullible westerners?

Oh yes, we are.
But some Filipinos are very smart/clever/corrupt, and many/most foreigners are no match for them.
It's apples and oranges.

But having said all that, I know that some people lower on the totem pole can't help it. They are forced to do dodgy things because they have NOTHING!
I just wish things would improve everywhere in the Philippines.
But it never will because too many people LOVE it the way it is.
It's all so Christian/Catholic don't ya know.
In God we trust eh?

But until it does improve, it's not at all wise to plonk down your money in order to invest in property on Boracay. Even some locals are scared because you NEVER know who your REAL friends/allies are.
Money and greed destroys everything.
No matter where you live in the world.

That's just my opinion.
And my advice.

Peace out.

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