Editorial: City loses out once more

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Thursday, August 7, 2014


EVERYTHING looked to be going well for Davao.

The city was ranked as the fourth safest city in the world a year ago and just months ago, hailed as one of the most prepared to host high-level Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit meetings.

The list of cities that would host the meetings was finally revealed, but Davao was nowhere to be found on it.

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It is quite a wonder how the city came from looking like a top contender to not being included at all. You’d think that after all the praise given to the city, it’d be shoo-in for the selection. It most probably was, since no large incident has hit the city for a while. No disasters or terrorist attacks.

But wait, the threat of a terrorist attack does sound like a good talking point. Even as Mindanao is tagged as a hotbed of conflict, Davao City has been secure in the face of all of them. You could ask any Davaoeño, and they’d tell you how safe the city is. Ask the president, however, and you’ll get a very different answer.

Just less than two months ago, the president himself warned Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of a looming terror threat in the city. The statement sparked the cancellation of a few events and hotel bookings. These didn’t have a significant effect on the economy of the city, however, and the Apec meetings, had they pushed through, would have bode great things for the city’s economy. By way of talk of a terror threat though, the city lost out on that too.

Think PNoy’s report had no effect on the city’s exclusion? Mayor Duterte attended a meeting with Apec officials last week where they spoke about the terror threat in Mindanao, with most of the speakers in the meeting experts in security. Pretty much looks like a nod to the supposed threat in the city.

Worst part of the president’s talk of a terror threat in a city? It was “unverified” and “raw.” Think of that. The city was primed to host a high-level international meeting and suddenly fell out of favor due to “raw” reports.

Looks like rumors aren’t that harmless after all.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 08, 2014.

Opinion

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