CAPITOL COMPOUND, Misamis Oriental, March 16 -- Misamis Oriental governor has lifted on March 16, 2017, the stoppage order he issued for tourists to temporarily refrain from visiting tourism sites in the province due to continuous engagements between the military and members of the New People s Army (NPA).
This, after the Philippine Army’s 58th Infantry ‘Dimalulupig’ Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division assured public that the province is relatively peaceful.
In his letter to Governor Yevgeny Vincente B. Emano, LtCol Francis P Carandang, 58th IB commander, said the peace and order situation in the province is stable and that the location where the latest skirmish that happened on February 27 to March 1 in the vicinities of Kaulayanan, Sugbongcogon and Bunal, Salay are far from the communities and the mountains where tourists do trekking adventures.
The rebels torched on March 6, 2017 a mini-tanker in Sitio, Solo, Barangay San Juan, Balingasag, but Carandang said it was an apparent effort (of the NPA) to divert our focus military operation. Carandang clarified that the intent of their continuous combat operations was to prevent the NPAs from launching terror attacks and extortion activities in the communities.
The purpose of our AFP-PNP joint security patrols and mobile checkpoints is to preempt the NPA s sabotage activities such as burning and arson. (But) as long as there is still NPA group, we can never say when they will conduct again their terroristic activities in the province. However, as your active partner in peace and development, the men and women of the 58th Infantry Battalion are always ready to serve and protect the people. We look forward for more collaboration with your office in the future, part of Carandang’s letter dated March 14, 2017, two weeks after Governor Emano issued stoppage order.
Meanwhile, the Police Provincial Office of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Misamis Oriental issued on March 9, 2017, a Safe Travel Certification reassuring both foreign and local tourists of safety to visit tourism sites in the province.
The certification, requested by Governor Yevgeny Vincente B. Emano to assure public safety in tourism destinations of the province amid reports of gun battle between government forces and rebel soldiers belonging to the NPA, was signed by Police Senior Superintendent Manuel Sukarno Barton Alvarez, acting provincial director for PNP in Misamis Oriental.
Governor Emano prompted to issue stoppage order last week for tourists scheduled to visit tourist destinations in the mountainous areas in the province following reports of continuous combat operations by the military. (PIO MisOr)