Hong Kong tourist allegedly punches Philippine cop after being called out for smoking

Tourists in Boracay. <i>Photo: Ivy Jean Vibar/ABS-CBN News</i>
Tourists in Boracay. Photo: Ivy Jean Vibar/ABS-CBN News

Boracay police arrested a tourist from Hong Kong last night after he allegedly punched a cop who called him out for smoking on the beach.

The suspect has been identified as Dennis Chong, 50, who was staying in the island’s village of Balabag. Chong was arrested at 9:45pm after he allegedly attacked Noly Cuatriz, a member of the Malay Auxiliary Police, Bandera reports.

Cuatriz caught Chong puffing on a cigarette and told him to stop, as it was a violation of Municipal Ordinance No. 309, which prohibits smoking on the beach. Instead of complying, Chong angrily threw his cigarette butt to the ground and allegedly punched Cuatriz, according to news show Unang Balita.

The confrontation came after a change in policy on the recently rehabilitated island’s beaches. Once best-known as a place to party hearty, Boracay implemented a drinking and smoking ban for public beach areas last year, something authorities are clearly taking seriously these days.

Chong was brought to Boracay police station where he will be charged with violating the island’s anti-smoking and anti-littering ordinances, as well as the whole, y’know, punching a cop thing.

Last year, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a six-month rehabilitation of Boracay, which he once described as “a cesspool,” after years of worsening environmental conditions — some of them related to the preponderance of human feces as the island became an increasingly popular tourist destination.

It was closed to tourists from April 26-Oct. 26 of 2018, a move considered controversial at the time as it left thousands of workers unemployed for months.

Despite being reopened, Boracay’s rehabilitation is still ongoing, with the construction of main roads and sewage systems is estimated to last until 2021.

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