Plantation Bay resident shareholder resigns after harsh response to mother of autistic child

Rosette Adel –

December 15, 2020 | 2:55 p.m.

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Gonzalez, resident shareholder of a Cebu resort and who recently made headlines for the mistreatment of a customer’s complaint, tendered his resignation on Tuesday effective the same day.

Mactan-based Plantation Bay Resort and Spa made the announcement on Tuesday.

In a statement, Gonzalez apologized for his “error in judgment.”

“To protect our staff from further indignities, with my sincere apologies for my error in judgment which has caused so much trouble for many innocent people, I have decided to step down as resident shareholder,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzales drew criticism last week after her negative response to a review of a mother of a child with special needs went viral.

Mai Pages, a resort guest and mother of a six-year-old with autism, complained about an alleged “discriminatory” experience while staying at the resort via the trip review website Trip Advisor.

She described the resort as “not a great place for a child with special needs”.

In a now suppressed response to the review, Gonzalez claimed Pages “was most likely lying on purpose.” He cited that “uncontrolled screaming is not a symptom of autism” and asked the pages to verify that.

“Google” Autism “and check this for yourself. As a result, this parent is most likely lying on purpose, or has been incorrectly diagnosed with autism, when what the child most likely has is a lack of discipline. to simple parental neglect, ”Gonzalez wrote.

The response, perceived as harsh by people with disabilities and other online users, circulated online criticism against Gonzales.

Gonzalez has since issued a public apology saying he was “wrong to question the mother’s motives and deeply regrets leaving the impression that we do not support the community of parents of children with special needs” .

He maintained that maintaining noise levels in the pool and restaurants is resort policy to maintain safety and relaxation for all guests. He added that this is applied impartially.

“Because of this policy, in almost 25 years we have never seen a child die here. A mother’s pride is important, but the lives of the children who come here are more important. either way, I mismanaged this case and I apologize to all parties who felt offended by my response, “he also said.

Despite the apologies, the Tourism Ministry embarked on the reported mistreatment of customer complaints on December 9 and coordinated the investigation with the Justice Ministry.

The DOT said the injured party can also file a complaint under the Disability Act.

In December last year, Gonzales was also criticized for his statement about suspected food poisoning at the compound where he berated the alleged victims for slandering Plantation Bay.

Meanwhile, following Gonzalez’s resignation, the management of Plantation Bay and Resort and Spa said they were “evaluating the current protocols in place and committed to launching more proactive efforts and implementing the necessary changes in the week “.

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