2 Italian tourists fall prey to thieves in Boracay

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2018 12:05 PM | Updated as of Dec 15 2019 02:07 PM

A pristine white sand beach taken on Thursday awaits tourists when Boracay reopens on October 26 after being closed for rehabilitation for 6 months. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Two Italian tourists lost money to thieves in Boracay, just as the island was reopened from a six-month cleanup, police said Sunday.

The thieves took money from the victims' bag in an apparent "salisi" scheme, said Chief Insp. Bryan Gregorio, deputy spokesman of the Western Visayas police.

Police are assigned to "strategic" spots in the world-famous island, but they cannot personally keep watch over every tourist. Vacationers should be responsible for their belongings, he told radio DZMM. 

"Nakakahiya nga, kaka-reopen lang natin pero mayroon nasalisihan... We will ensure na ito'y hindi na mauulit at sana iyung mga turista maging alert din," he said. 

(It's embarrassing because our island has just reopened, but there is already an incident of theft. We will ensure that this will not be repeated and we hope our tourists will be alert, too.) 

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President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Boracay's closure in April after seeing a video of dirty water being dumped to sea, a side-effect of decades of unregulated construction that overwhelmed a tiny sewerage system.

"We have already done the first phase, this is the rehabilitation," Environment Minister Roy Cimatu told a news conference on Friday. "There is no more cesspool."

Beach parties are now banned, as is smoking and drinking. Its shoreline is free of vendors, masseuses, fire dancers and water sports, while the scores of moored boats on the beach, a fixture in former years, must anchor elsewhere.

Just 19,000 tourists are to be allowed on the island each day, with worker numbers also capped at 15,000.

With a report from Reuters