BACOLOD

Couple spat disrupts traffic

The police has cordoned the 6th Lacson Street due to the alleged take over of Francis Cabuga of Metro Inn hotel which is being occupied by his estranged wife Catherine Cabuga. They said that this is a legal conflict between two corporations. Chief Inspector Sherlock Gabana, BCPO spokesman said that it’s a standard operating procedure to close the street as there were armed security guards inside the hotel. (Carla N. Cañet)

THE 22-hour standoff at RFC Metro Inn Hotel in 6th Lacson Street, Bacolod City led to a road closure and disruption of traffic.

Francis Rey Cabuga of Mushroom Realty Development Corporation, who was accompanied by lawyer Erfe del Castillo, corporate secretary Patchy Cabuga, eight security guards and two security officers, allegedly forced his entry to the hotel Monday night, November 19.

This apparently irked Cabuga’s estranged wife, Catherine Cabuga, who is also a shareholder and their corporate treasurer.

The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) has cordoned the area from Hilado Street to 6th Lacson Street.

Policemen, including its Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, swarmed the area.

The group of Francis Cabuga, after they gained entry to the hotel, has occupied a room on the second floor and padlocked the tempered glass doors in the main and side entrances.

When the conflict started, the hotel was fully booked as hotel guests attended a convention in Bacolod City.

But as the conflict continued until Tuesday morning, November 20, hotel guests left the hotel.

Others left on foot with their luggage. They were assisted by the police until they get a cab.

Others were sent to their destination on board a hotel van.

The group of Catherine stayed outside and made several attempts to gain entry to the hotel.

The armed guards of Francis were disarmed by the police and were all sent to jail for taking over the premise even there are existing guards hired by the group of Catherine.

They will face possible charges from the camp of Catherine.

Only around 4 p.m. when Catherine decided to destroy the main and side glass doors to exercise her right to the hotel.

She wore a bulletproof vest and readied her gun to ensure her protection.

She was the one who first destroyed the glass doors until they succeeded in re-taking the ground floor of the hotel.

Catherine’s lawyer, former Salvador Benedicto mayor Jose Max Ortiz, said they ended victoriously because they were able to get inside the premises.

They considered the entry of Francis and his group illegal because they have no legal order from the court to take over.

The group of Francis passed a resolution that the board of directors of Mushroom Realty Development Corp. held a special meeting on October 19 that the corporation shall temporarily suspend or cause the temporary closure of RFC Metro Inn Hotel for the conduct of the audit and year-end inventory and shall be headed by lawyer Del Castillo.

It also stated that Francis is the major stockholder of the hotel.

But Catherine questioned the said resolution because the majority of the board of directors were with her.

Ortiz, for his part, said the police will do the clearing operation inside the hotel and if they find armaments in the possession of the group of Francis, he can even execute an arrest.

As of press time Tuesday, November 20, the police line was already reduced to the main entrance of the hotel as the warring parties were already inside the hotel.

Catherine claimed the mind of her estranged husband is unstable.

No man in his right mind will do this given the fact that he has two minor children with her, Catherine added.

"I have managed this hotel for six years already and also the Villa Iska Beach Resort in Punta Taytay. We built this hotel for our two kids. They [along with his lawyer] have even withdrawn the trust fund of our kids. I am no longer open for negotiation. He has already with another woman after we decided to live separately in 2014," she said.

Meanwhile, Catherine said it was not their intention to hamper the flow of traffic at 6th Street.

It was the standard operating procedure of the police to cordon the area.

Catherine also asked for understanding from the hotel guests.


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