ROUGH CUTS| The Canadian government’s travel advisory

FOR CERTAIN the Davao Region did not expect its biggest black eye to happen last week. Perhaps it was not expecting that incident to happen at all.

By black eye we mean the daring abduction of three foreigners and a Filipina from an upscale resort only ten to fifteen minutes from Davao City’s Sasa landing area and the Davao headquarters of the Philippine Navy and Army in Panacan.

The kidnapping happened in a resort owned by a well-known Davao City businessman located in sitio Camudmud, Babak in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos). The island city is a component of the province of Davao del Norte and is experiencing an economic boom brought about by its thriving tourism industry.

But this growth of the young city is, without doubt, a rub from the development of the entire Davao Region, specifically Davao City, which is the jump-off area of tourists whose final destination is the different beach resort establishments in the island. Thus, it is also a given that whatever is the impact of the abduction will also rub in on the image of the entire Davao Region.

So, without doubt the leaders of the different local governments that comprise Southern Mindanao, especially Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, are agonizing over the incident. Why, because every time the abduction story is carried in the national and international media it hits the core of the very source of the Davaoenos’ pride – that of being widely acknowledged as a safe and secured city.

Yes, it cannot be helped that Davao City will be associated every time the word Davao is mentioned in the news whether it is positive or negative. So, whether the an incident happens in Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur and Occidental, and even in Compostela Valley, the story usually carries the dateline Davao City. And all stories on the Igacos incident, considering the status of its victims, will definitely be no exception.

Therefore, it would not be surprising if Mayor Duterte, both in his capacity as Davao City chief executive and as chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) for the Davao Region, will do everything in his authority to hasten the rescue of the victims and arrest of the perpetrators.

He has to protect the reputation of the city that he has so painstakingly built over the years of his administration. And he also has to ensure that the entire Davao Region where he is the RPOC chair will be able to expunge the black eye from its face as a government administrative entity the soonest possible time.

–ooOoo–

We are saddened with the report that the government of Canada has already issued a travel advisory banning its citizens from travelling to the Davao Region.

This is the first negative consequence of the kidnapping incident in Samal where two of the four victims are Canadian nationals.

Of course we cannot blame the Canadian government. It is only protecting its citizens from possible harm that could befall on them if they travel to the Davao Region, an impression that is brought about by the daring assault.

But what we are afraid the most is the possibility that the said country will unitarily stop its assistance to the region through various projects funded by its Canadian International Cooperation Agency (CIDA).

Yes, Canada has been assisting local government units through its development assistance program and the Davao Region is privileged to be among its many beneficiaries over the last many years.

We just wish that the captors of the foreigners and the Filipino woman will treat them with compassion and refrain from harming any one of the four. We are certain that if the abductors will commit the mistake of inflicting them harm, it would be goodbye to all Canadian assistance.

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Posted in Opinion