TV news crew mauled, injured by Caloocan resort's guests

Published May 10, 2021, 9:49 AM

by Joseph Pedrajas

A television news crew sustained injuries after he was mauled by irate resort -goers for allegedly reporting about their violation of health protocols by gathering en masse at a resort in Caloocan City on Sunday.

TV5 cameraman Arnel Tugade was rushed to the hospital after his nose suffered a cut when three men beat him outside the Gubat sa Ciudad resort in Bagumbong around 4 p.m. on Sunday, Tugade said.

This came after their crew took videos of hundreds of individuals leaving the resort after the management obliged them due to an unprecedented inspection to be led by the police and Caloocan City officials.

“Puro sa mukha yung puntirya nila… kaya biyak yung sa ilong ko, sa mata hanggang sa baba ng ilong (They hit mostly my face, that’s why my nose, starting from my eyes, was cut open),” Tugade said in a DZRH interview on Monday.

“Paglabas nila, kami ang nabungaran nila doon na may media. Kaya siguro iniisip nila, dahil sa media kaya naudlot yung kanilang pagsaya doon… Actually lahat ng nag-swimming doon marami sila sinisigawan kami, ‘ayan may media pa kasi’ (As they were leaving the resort, they saw us. That’s why they were thinking that it was because of the media that their celebration was stopped. Actually, all the guests were blaming us, shouting, ‘it’s because you’re here media’),” he added.

Caloocan City Police Station chief Col. Samuel Mina said two suspects, identified as brothers Dennis and Daniel Cawigan, were already arrested. One more suspect managed to escape.

Mayor Oca Malapitan immediately ordered the closure of Gubat sa Ciudad after authorities confirmed that a mass gathering was being held inside. He added that a revocation of business permit will also be served against the resort while the perpetrators will undergo inquest proceedings Monday.

Malapitan said around 150 to 200 individuals visited the resort in time for the celebration of Mother’s Day.

He said he already asked the management of the resort to provide the local government its guest list for contact tracing for possible COVID-19 infection.

Photos on social media showed dozens swimming in one of the resort’s pools without social distancing. The city, based on its May 9 data, has 1,374 cases of COVID-19.