THE just-concluded ministerial meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) meetings in Bohol were generally peaceful, the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) said yesterday.
Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino, PRO-7 chief, said the Asean ministerial meetings held in Panglao, Bohol, from September 19 to 22 continued despite a bomb scare at a hospital in Tagbilaran City.
“The bomb threat which was reported has not affected in any way the conduct of Asean meeting,” Espino said, adding that the delegates left the province last Friday.
On the first day of the 34th Asean maritime and technical working group meeting in Panglao, chaos broke out at the Borja Family Hospital in Tagbilaran City as patients and their watchers and staff members were evacuated from the building due to a bomb scare. But aside from that incident, Espino said there were no other reported threats during the four-day ministerial meeting.
“We are happy to report that the Committee on Peace and Order, Security, Preparedness and Response of the National Organizer Committee of Asean was successful in conducting its security during the Asean maritime and technical working group meetings,” Espino said.
He said they received feedback from Asean delegates that they felt safe during those meetings.
Since the National Organizing Committee of Asean meetings in the Philippines was happy with the turnout of the meetings, Espino said another set of Asean meetings will be in Bohol again next month.
“We could say that Bohol is still a place for having a conference and tourists will be coming in and they’ll be assured that (they will be safe in) Bohol,” Espino said.
The October meetings in Bohol will be the third in the province.
The first meeting was held a week after the military foiled an Abu Sayyaf plot to wreak havoc in Clarin town, Bohol province, last April.