Police cleared a path for Jo Koy (right) in Cebu, Philippines.


Jo Koy police escort in Cebu stirs controversy


DUBAI – Ahead of his first gig in Dubai, comedian Jo Koy stirred controversy in Cebu City after he posted a video of how he was escorted by police to his event in the Philippine city.

The video showed two motorcycle-riding policemen clearing a path for Jo Koy’s vehicle in the middle of the busy Marcelo Fernan Bridge.

The American comedian, whose mother is from the Philippines, was in Cebu for a gig at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino on January 14 before flying to Manila the next day as part of his Just Kidding World Tour. He will perform in Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena on January 20.

On Friday (January 17), Jo Koy posted footage of police escorting his vehicle through heavy traffic. He deleted the post on Saturday.

“We’re in Cebu now and we have police escort getting through.. This is crazy! Right in the middle!” Jo Koy exclaimed, showing the two policemen clearing a path right in the center of the busy two-lane bridge. The first policeman is later seen dangerously swaying his motorbike.

The video also showed police diverting traffic to clear a path for the comedian’s vehicle on the wrong side of the road, putting them head-on towards oncoming traffic. Police signal oncoming vehicles to keep left.

“We’re on the other side of the road now. Look at this,” Jo Koy said, the disbelief evident in his voice, “Look at this! We’re on the other side! This is crazy, bro! What is going on?!”

Following the drive, Jo Koy said that he made it to the venue in 15 minutes. “Cebu Police escort cuts a 2 hour drive to my hotel into 15 minutes. I love the Philippines!” Jo Koy captioned his video. The police have yet to issue a statement on the incident.

The video drew mixed reactions from netizens, with some quick to defend the comedian and others criticizing him for condoning the special treatment and breaking traffic rules.

“I don’t think he asked for it, but was just given a kind gesture as a thank you,” said Vii Aquino on Facebook.

Cearles Gaceta Villarosa, said organizers had anticipated heavy traffic and only made sure that the artist reached the venue without delay.

“The organizers found a way for him. They asked proper permit to escort him on the way to Waterfront. Knowing Cebu’s traffic can make a 15-minute drive into a 3-hour drive,” Villarosa wrote.

Others, however, were not pleased.

“This is too bad. Nobody should be above the law. Jo Koy, I like you as a comedian but you should not be treated above all others, especially when it comes to traffic,” said Frev Espina.

“I wouldn’t be proud to post this video if I were in your place. If you can’t afford to be late in your show then be here a little more early,” said Anna Catarman.

Ethan Llemit, another fan, said that posting the video was no laughing matter. “While I enjoy your comedic antics and even shows, posting this video publicly (even if you have the clearance to use the policemen this way) is a big insult to the commuting and the driving public in Cebu. And I’m not even a motorist to get so offended by this,” Llemit wrote.

“I agree. I am a fan but MYGAD JOSEP!!!” replied Lhin Lhin Lau, using one of Jo Koy’s famous comedic line. PIA/Expat Media

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