BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan vehemently belied social media reports of alleged terrorist threats in the city over the past weeks, saying that such text messages and social media reports are considered hoax and that the city was never placed under red alert for such threats.
The local chief executive said it is unfortunate that such negative reports were timed when the city’s temperature was on a down trend serving as an added attraction for local residents and visitors to go around the city and experience the city’s wintry weather.
“Baguio City had been the subject of negative reports over the past several years but the city continues to get a share of foreign and domestic tourist arrivals, especially that the highlights of the 22nd edition of the Panagbenga are nearing,” Domogan stressed.
He said that even SM management denied the truth of text messages circulating over the past several days advising the public not to go to the mall because of reports of bomb threats.
According to him, there is no truth to text messages being also circulated among residents and potential visitors that it is dangerous to go around the city because the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group is in the city posing a serious threat to their safety.
Domogan explained based on the timing and contents of the negative text messages against the city, there is a grand design of some interest groups to discredit the status of the city as one of the prime tourist destinations in the country.
He claimed the police and military are in control of the peace and order situation and that residents and visitors are safe and everyone can go on their regular routines of going around the city.
He called on those responsible for the negative text messages to stop their illegal acts because visitors will continue to visit the city because of its natural pull and such derogatory reports actually contribute to its promotion as a destination worthy of being visited.
Further, he also consulted with leaders and members of the Muslim community in the city to reminded them of the need to cooperate with peacekeeping strategies and anti-criminality efforts of the local government and the police force and to make sure they police their own ranks and prevent possible infiltration by terrorists wanting to sow fear in the city.
Domogan expressed his gratitude to the city’s Muslim community for pledging their support to the peacekeeping strategies of the local government and the police force, saying that the assurance of the Muslim leaders of their utmost cooperation to the programs and projects of the city is a good sign towards achieving lasting peace in the city.
He said there is a need for the police and military to intensify their presence in populated areas in the city to help deter the commission of crimes by unscrupulous individuals wanting to create trouble simply to ruin the image of the city. /By Dexter A. See#