60-year-old Kiwi thought to be missing found in Panglao

A New Zealand citizen who was thought to be missing and in turn caused alarm among authorities was found in safe condition in Panglao on Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after he was last seen by his companion.

The Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO), military and other law enforcement agencies searched for Stephen Brent, 60, after he got separated from his companion in Sagbayan town Tuesday afternoon.

Senior Supt. Angeles Geñorga, BPPO director, reported to the Bohol Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) that Brent was found at the Dumaluan Beach resort in Panglao at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

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Geñorga admitted that they were alarmed with the report prompting the police and other government agents to immediately search for the foreign national.

According to Geñorga, they reported the initially perceived disappearance of Brent to the national police headquarters in Camp Crame. He noted however that this was part of protocol.

The provincial police chief said that they were concerned that Brent may have figured in an accident as he was last seen on a motorcycle, but dismissed any possibility of the foreigner being kidnapped.

Brent who did not have a cellphone with him was separated from his friend Jeoffrey Poole, 62, while they were on a road trip on board separate rented motorcycles in Sagbayan.

Staff at the Dumulan Beach Resort where Brent was staying did not immediately notice that the foreign national was already back at the resort as he went on a scuba diving trip, said Geñorga.

Following the incident, Geñorga urged resorts to secure a way to contact their guests when they leave their establishments and take tours around the province. (R. Tutas)



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