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Plantation Bay resident shareholder resigns over autism remarks

Following controversy over the poor treatment of a boy with autism, Cebu businessman Manny Gonzalez resigned from his post as resident shareholder of Plantation Bay Resort and Spa on Tuesday, December 15.

"To protect our staff from further indignities, and with sincere apologies for my error of judgment which led to so much trouble to many innocent people, I have decided to resign from the position of resident shareholder," Gonzalez said in a statement.

He also said the resort management is assessing protocols in place and "has pledged to initiate more proactive efforts and implement necessary changes within the week."

In a viral Facebook post, Cebu resident Mai Pages said Plantation Bay's staff reprimanded her for her son's noise even as she explained that her child had special needs and makes noise when he gets excited. Pages said this was why she gave the resort a one-star rating on travel site TripAdvisor.

Gonzalez initially responded harshly to the review and accused the mother of lying about her son's autism.

The resort owner later removed his response and apologized through their Facebook page.

Rappler reached out to Gonzalez, but he declined to comment further on his resignation.

Plantation Bay told Rappler that Gonzalez "has ceded all responsibilities and tasks" to general manager Cherry Allego.

The Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Tourism are both investigating if the incident violated laws protecting persons with disabilities and children. – Rappler.com

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.

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