May 21, 2017
BOHOL’s tourism industry heaved a figurative sigh of relief when the last of the 11 Abu Sayyaf members who landed in Inabanga last April was killed last May 15. The presence of the Abu Sayyaf in Bohol, the subsequent military operations, and the travel warnings issued by a number of foreign embassies had resulted in hotel and tour cancellations.
Crime, especially violent crime, in general is bad for the tourism business.
Recently, former volunteers of Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and Netherland Development Organization (SNV), their friends and relatives, wrote an impassioned letter to the Bohol provincial board. The letter is an expression of solidarity with Stuart Green, a British former VSO volunteer, whose wife, lawyer Mia Mascariñas-Green, was brutally murdered in Tagbilaran City last February 15 (see my Manila Times column of March 27, “Murder in paradise,” for details about the murder).
The 73 individuals who signed the letter said they felt “compelled to ask tourists to think twice about visiting Bohol until this crime has been solved and to inform the Bohol resort they were planning to visit as to the reason.” They described the murder as a barbaric act and were “appalled to know that the alleged perpetrators were arrested in Bohol only months ago for possession of both “shabu” (…) and the illegal possession of firearms only to be immediately released (…) upon the recommendation of the local prosecutor.” They were referring to the raid conducted on the resort then controlled by the murder suspects, a raid that yielded high-powered firearms, silencers, ammunition and shabu.
Yes, the suspects are still at large.
Tagged: The Philippines