American hotel GM faces deportation for disrespecting solon

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THE American general manager of Shangri-La Hotel in Cebu is now in hot water after the Bureau of Immigration summoned him for showing disrespect to four congressmen whom he met four months ago.

Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez said Timothy Wright was ordered to appear at the BI office at 3 p.m. today to explain why he should not be kicked out. BI special prosecutor Maria Antonette Bucasas issued the subpoena based on the complaint of Ilocos Norte Rep. Roque Ablan Jr. In his complaint, Ablan recounted that he and three other lawmakers, Representatives Antonio Cuenco, Janet Garin and Lorna Silverio, went to Shangri-La Hotel in Mactan, Cebu on August 6 for the 27th General Assembly of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary. He said they met with Wright to discuss accommodations for the delegates to the assembly that was held from September 10 to 15. During the meeting, Ablan complained that he was not given a notice on the renovation works on some of the hotel’s facilities. He also asked Wright about discounts on corkage fees that might be charged to delegates who would bring in food and beverages. However, instead of politely turning them down, Wright allegedly remarked:
“You should be ashamed to ask me. You know we make a living by selling food and liquor.” “A visitor to the Philippines such as Mr. Wright must be made aware that Filipinos are not inferior citizens and cannot, under any circumstances, be treated as such,” Ablan said.

Lee Ann Ducusin

Peoples Journal 10/26/2006 19:57 PM

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  1. So what happened in the end? Did he end up deported or was it sorted out between the parties? I think it is quite ridiculous to be deported over a minor dispute that has no criminal elemant involved whatsoever. It seems that foreigners have less rights than locals in Philippines and are always in a weaker position should a problem arise. He could have spoken more nicely but it seems acceptable for locals to abuse and take advantage of foreigners in that country where in the west it would be denounced as racism if a Filipino was to go there and not have equal rights…

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    • Sorry, we don’t know what finally happened. Often you see stories like this but then there is no media follow-up. This is especially true with murders of foreigners. There is a big media splash and then we never hear what happened — perhaps because there was no follow-up.

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  2. These congressman were just the usual politicians trying to use there power to get a free ride.

    They are now whining like babies after being humiliated for trying to get favors that they did not earn or deserve.

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  3. Initially when I read the above article, I thought it was all rather petty of the Filipinos to react in this way, but upon reflection, they have a valid point. Would the manager in question, if working Stateside, retort in the same manner to an American Congressman? No, I don’t think so, it would be highly unprofessional to actually say such a thing, although of course he may be thinking it!As always, there’s at least 2 ways, or more, to say something. Filipinos have a great sense of humour, and the foreign manager could have got his point across in so many more subtle ways, which an educated man such as Alban would have probably appreciated. Yet again an example of a foreigner who probably does actually believe that he is superior to Filipinos, and yes, purely by accident he has been born in a Country which has afforded him superior oppurtunites in the way of Education and so on than most Filipinos; obviously superior manners and tact were not subjects he majored in!

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