Dino to ask UK to lift travel advisory vs southern Cebu; assures no terror threat exists in the south
OSLOB, Cebu — Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino wil ask the British government to lift the travel advisory that cautioned its citizens to travel to the southern section of Cebu province.
Dino, speaking before tourism stakeholders and southern Cebu towns executives during the Interagency Securty Summit held in this town on Sunday, Feburary 3, stressed that “there is zero threat” of terrorism in southern Cebu and that the advisory has no basis.
Dino said he will be sending a letter to the Embassy of the United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 5, to explain the position of the local authorities that there is no terror threat in the province and ask that the advisory be lifted.
“Nanawag dayon ko sa PNP, Coast Guard, sa AFP. I asked them kay naa man na silay ilahang intelligence network. Naa bay threat o wala. I asked them and they said wala gyud bisay huluhungihong lang. None at all,” Dino said during the summit.
(I immediately contacted the Philippine National Police, Coast Guard and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. I asked them if they have any information from their intelligence network whether or not there was a threat. I asked them and they said there was none, not even a rumor. None at all)
“That is the reason why we are here today – to assure you that Cebu, not just southern Cebu, is safe. We want to assure you that. I want the local people to know that we are safe and we want to let the International community know that we are 100 percent safe. There is zero threat here,” he added.
The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) of UK issued the travel advisory cautioning British nationals against all travels to the Western and Central regions of Mindanao including Sulu province following the twin bombing at the Cathedral of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo on January 27.
The advisory also cautioned their nationals from traveling to the southern section of Cebu, from its tip in Santander until Badian and Dalaguete “due to the threat of terrorism.”
The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), AFP Central Command (Centcom), Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas (PCG-7), and the National Intelligence Cooperation Agency in the region(Nica-7) all assured that there is no imminent threat of terrorism in Cebu and the region.
“Akong panghangyo unta aning ubang mga nasud ba nga (I am appealing to these nations that) when they have travel advisories to please coordinate first with our military,with our PNP so that when you issue a travel advisory, you should have a basis,” Dino said.
Dino added that the travel advisory on terrorist threat, although have been debunked, may adversely affect not only the economy of the southern Cebu towns but also the country’s tourism industry.
“Remember that Visayas is the center of tourism of the entire Philippines. We have to take care of our peace and order situation here. I’m very clear nga there is no threat here,” Dino added. /elb
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