PTC, dads declare Bohol
"totally safe destination"
TAGBILARAN CITY, April 27, (PIA)--Bohol tourism industry stakeholders both in government and the private sector declare Bohol a destination totally safe to visit at any given time.
Bohol Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) Chairman Atty Lucas Nunag and Governor Edgar Chatto issued the univocal assurance April 25, and both signed the statement, amidst special travel advisories issued by countries from which the bulk of tourists in Bohol come.
PTC chairman Nunag read the joint statement during the internal launching of new Bohol tourism slogan; "Behold Bohol," in fitting ceremonies attended by stakeholders at the Bohol Tropics April 26 noontime.
The travel advisories from the United States of America, France and South Korea all cite public insecurity, a condition brought about by the incursion of terrorists from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) of southern Philippines.
Intelligence sources have previously leaked that elements from ASG led by Alhabsi Misaya, on board two pumpboats departed Sulu and was reportedly proceeding towards an undisclosed location in the Visayas to conduct kidnapping activities.
The same intelligence source further revealed that the group had multiple target areas in the Visayas but will choose where ever is observed to be least secured.
As this went on weeks ago, Governor Edgar Chatto issued the order to all local chief executives to institute security measures to thwart any untoward incident that may disrupt the tranquility of the province.
At In the early morning of April 11 however, combined troops from the Philippine Army and the police were surprised by gunfire as they were verifying reports of presence of armed men believed to be ASG in Napo and Canlinte in Inabanga town.
The almost 24 hour gunfight left 10 men dead, 4 from the government troops, 6 from the ASG, including the death of a couple now under investigation.
Seven more members of the armed bandits eluded the military security scouring team but remained contained in the vicinity of the first gunfight.
A few days later, military sources bared another plan of the ASG to send out members from an undisclosed area in Mindanao to rescue and provide reinforcements to their comrades involved in the Inabanga encounter.
The intelligence information also came at a time when Bohol was to start the 3 day hosting of the international gathering of ministers and senior officials of the Association of South East Asian Nations in Panglao.
Eleven days later, government troops engaged remnants of the first encounter leaving four of the bandits dean, three more scattered in the firefight.
Over this, the joint statement issued by the PTC and the PLGU in Bohol said, "It is our duty ti properly inform you that the area where the ASG attempted to operate is very far from the tourism zone like the beach resorts of Panglao as well as the popular destinations in Bohol.
Tourism Council chairman Atty Nunag also pointed out that Inabanga is far from the Tagbilaran City Airport and wharf, stressing that the province of Bohol especially the tourism zones remain very peaceful and free from the threats of the Abus Sayyaf.
He cited that the ASG planned terroristic activities were all thwarted and aborted by the military and the cooperation of communities.
He even assured further that to ensure the safety of the traveling public, checkpoints are in place in the entry and exit points of tourism zones.
Meanwhile, in another joint press statement, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police through Centcom Commander Lieutenant General Oscar Lactao and PCSupt Noli Taliño cited the success of Bohol's hosting of the ASEAN as a testament that Central Visayas is a peaceful place to live, work and do business with.
Now with the above reasons and as an open invitation for the fiesta seasons, Bohol officials say "the traditional warm hospitality of the people of Bohol awaits. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
Atty. Lucas Nunag reads the joint statement declaring Bohol as a safe destination at any given time, issued by Gov Edgar Chatto and the provincial Tourism Council April 25. The statement asserts safety measures in place in Bohol even with security travel advisories issued by the US, France and South Korea. (foto by PTC Emmylou Noel)