June 1, 2023

A bar was ordered to cease operations while three police personnel were relieved over a complaint of racial discrimination and unprofessional conduct lodged by a U.S. Navy serviceman against a night establishment along Leonard Wood Road on Oct. 21.
Mayor Benjamin Ma-galong ordered an investigation after learning of the ordeal of U.S. Navy officer Michelot Joseph who filed the complaint after being barred from entering the establishment allegedly due to his color and nationality.
He also raised the issue on how the personnel of Baguio City Police Office Station 3 handled his complaint.
City Permits and Licensing Officer Allan Abayao said on Oct. 24, the establishment was ordered to stop operating as a bar and refrain from dispensing liquor and to strictly comply with its existing business permit to operate only as a restaurant.
The bar’s operator later issued an apology to Joseph for the unfair treatment.
The BCPO for its part relieved three personnel of the station for irregularity in the performance of duty.  The three were subjected to a refresher seminar on first responders and phraseology.
Acting City Police Director, Col. Francis Bulwayan, also issued a memorandum to all BCPO personnel to abide by the provisions of Memorandum Circular 2016-002 and Republic Act 6713 to ensure respect for diversity, the city being one of the premiere tourist destinations in the country.
The BCPO said Joseph accepted the apology of the bar manager and expressed appreciation of the efforts of the mayor and the BCPO in addressing the case.
“After all the efforts put forth by your office and the receipt of apology letter from the owner, I have considered the case resolved.  I will make a follow-on post to inform everyone that the case has been resolved with the intervention of the great mayor of Baguio and the higher echelon of the Baguio police. I am satisfied with the decision discussed on the report,” the BCPO quoted the officer’s reply to the report. – Aileen P. Refuerzo