Armed Group Takes Control of SandCastles Resort

Greg Hutchinson, owner of SandCastles Resort in Boracay, Philippines says that armed “thugs” have taken over the compound.  Hutchinson has a 30 year lease and there is some kind of dispute regarding that lease.  The details of the dispute are not clear.

The police chief in the area says there are no armed thugs and that he has posted police officers at the resort.  He offered to escort Hutchinson and his family off the resort but Hutchinson is unwilling to leave until he has a chance to speak to his lawyer.  The police have taken the position that it is a civil dispute and says there are no guns involved in the take over.

Hutchinson has holed up in an apartment on the resort with his wife and two 5 year old daughters  He is an Australian national that helped make Boracay an international destination.  When he opened the resort in 1989 there were about 10 resorts on the Island.  Today there are hundreds.

Hutchinson seems to have 11 years left on his lease.  I am unclear what claim the owner of the property is using to re-acquire or even if it is the owner.  There are few details being released.  The entire event seems odd but hopefully more information will help this make more sense.

The way it stands now, it leaves me thinking that investing in the Philippines is more risky than I first thought.

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Filed under: Expats in the Philippines

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