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Issue of April 7, 2019
     
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Bauko LGU suspends tourism activities amid safety concerns
by Ofelia C. Empian

For the safety of the community and visitors, the local government unit of Bauko, Mountain Province has suspended all its tourism activities as the gun battle between the New Peoples Army and government forces escalated last week.

Mayor Abraham Akilit, in an advisory dated April 1, has ordered the temporary closure of all tourist areas in the municipality particularly the areas near barangays Bagnen, Abatan, and Poblacion.

The tourist sites temporarily closed are Mount Polis, Cotcot Aso, Nentingli, Mount Kapuwaw, Spanish Trails, Mount Am-o, Toktok Allan, Layaan Burial Cave, and Pangayapang Falls.

“All residents and tourists are called upon to observe and desist from conducting tourism and other related activities, to include farming especially in the mountainous areas of the municipality and to abstain from staying out late on the street when not necessary,” the advisory states.

He added that all booked tourism activities are temporarily cancelled until further notice.

“Everyone is advised to remain calm, stay alert and be on the lookout. Any suspicious persons or activities should be reported immediately to the proper authorities,” Akilit said.

Tourism Officer Arsenia Addon also reminded the public in a Facebook post to “confine activities to barangay centers or populated areas.”

“Please avoid conflicting personal posts that may implicate or bring misunderstanding or misinformation,” Addon added.

The peace and order situation in Bauko and Tadian was earlier disrupted due to a series of firefights that happened between the rebels and government forces last week.

The first reported place of firefight between the NPA and the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) 15 was in Mt. Kapuwaw in Barangay Bagnen, Bauko where a rookie cop was killed while one was wounded on March 29.

Several firefights followed though pursuit operations continued.

The pursuit operation also led the police force to the boundary of Bauko and Tadian on April 2 where one police officer died and nine others were wounded due to the explosion from an improvised explosive device (IED).

The NPA denied planting the unmanned EID.

The police and the military forces are now jointly carrying through the operation against the rebels.


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