Tension eases in Boracay: Singaporean businessman apologizes to DENR official

Aika Rey
'There are some who make friends and quarrel later, but we quarreled and became friends,' says businessman Peter Tay after patching things up with DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda

NEW FRIENDS? Singaporean businessman Peter Tay apologizes to DENR Usec Benny Antiporda. Photo from Tay's Facebook page

In an unexpected turn of events, after days of tension at the newly-reopened Boracay, Singaporean businessman Peter Tay went to Casa Pilar in Station 3.

Tay approached Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda on Wednesday, November 7, not to confront him about the new watersports activity policy, but to apologize.

In a phone interview with Rappler, Antiporda said that Tay met with him to “clear things up.”

“Nag-apologize siya sa akin. Sabi niya na, ‘We’re both passionate [about] what we’re doing.’ Sinabi ko rin kasi sa interview ko na lahat ng sinabi niya [sa letter na] talaga namang may sagot ako, at kakasuhan ko siya ng perjury. Now, all’s well that end’s well,” Antiporda told Rappler.

(He apologized to me. He told me that, “We’re both passionate [about] what we’re doing.” I answered all the points in his letter in my previous interviews, and said that I will file a perjury case against him. Now, all’s well that ends well.)

Tay wrote to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu accusing Antiporda of “publicly humiliating, physically assaulting, and verbally threatening” him, during a confrontation about the new watersports activity policy on November 2.

Tay even filed a complaint against Antiporda at the Malay municipal police station.

Antiporda previously said that it was clearly a misunderstanding, as booking watersports activities can still be done not only through hotels, but through travel agencies too.

In a Facebook post, Tay said that local media Boracay Informer helped arrange the talk. He also posted photos of them shaking hands and talking amicably.

“There are some who make friends and quarrel later, but we quarreled and became friends. At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong, but for us to move forward for a better Boracay. We are men of passion,” the businessman said. 

Tay is the general manager of Boracay Adventures Travel & Tours Incorporated and a board director of the Boracay Foundation. (IN GIFs: What to see in the new Boracay)

The island paradise is now at peace. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.