THE plea by environmentalists won’t stop Miss Universe contestants from going to Oslob.
Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said there are environmentalists on social media, specifically on Facebook, who are appealing against the Miss Universe contestants’ visit to Oslob because of the whale shark issue.
Last Friday, Gabriel Yap from Pasig posted around 7 p.m., saying, “Miss Universe, please don’t be a bitch to the environment” in all caps. He posted links to websites and cited reasons that drawing tourists to the whale sharks will only cause harm.
Magpale, in defense, said the plan came from the secretary of tourism in Manila, and that the Province merely accepted the order. She said she did not know about it until the mayor from Oslob called to officially invite her yesterday.
The vice governor had a discussion with the governor about the issue, and concluded that they will abide by the president’s order.
Magpale said there is no city ordinance or national law banning the locals from feeding nor watching these whale sharks.
According to Magpale, they did not endorse Oslob as part of the Miss Universe itinerary with due respect to the environmentalists’ perspective.
The arrival of the Miss Universe contestants will be around 7:30 a.m., Tuesday.
Magpale said they will probably be taking helicopters from the airport to Oslob.
The candidates are set to visit Oslob, the shrine in Mactan and Magellan’s Cross, and will immediately be transported back to Manila.
Magpale ended the discussion about security, saying “We were assured by our regional Director Noble.”
The director of Police Regional Office Central Visayas assured that the region is safe from terrorist groups.
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño said there is no direct threats.
“Continuous ang ating monitoring dito sa Region 7 at naka in-place ang ating security system, integrated security system between the PNP (Philippine National Police) and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” he said.
The police official’s statement came after an anonymous person spread a text message last week.
The texter warned the police to secure Siquijor’s Municipal Office and its public market because terrorists from Mindanao will attack these places possibly on Dec. 11 up to Dec. 14.
“Suerte kamo tag Siq. Misis ko (You are lucky because my wife is from Siquijor). Pls. Secure the targets,” the message read.
The police clarified the text report has not yet been validated.
Taliño asked the public to refrain from sending alarming messages to their friends and relatives because these might cause panic.
He said the public must be vigilant and report to authorities any suspicious-looking persons or abandoned packages.
“Lahat ng highly-urbanized cities ay pwedeng targetin ng terorista (can be targeted by terrorists). Yun ang objective nila (That is their objective), to get the attention of the public and community. Kaya ang target nila ay yung maraming tao (That’s why their target is where there are many people),” he said. “Walang exemption dito sa terrorist attack.”
Taliño said they are still on full alert and they are preparing the security for the churches as the dawn masses will start on Friday.
Last Dec. 1, PNP Director Gen. Ronald dela Rosa placed the country under terror threat level three, following the arrests of two persons suspected of leaving a bomb near the United States Embassy in Manila.
The level three alert status means a terror attack is possible.
Six days later, unidentified men threw a grenade into a group of bystanders at the public plaza of Iligan City last Dec. 7, injuring four persons. With Dwight Devora, USJR Intern