DAVAO City Council passed Tuesday a resolution declaring "persona non grata" the party-list representatives Pastor Jun Alcover of Bantay, and Retired General Jovito Palparan of Anad.

This after the council invited heads of the Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIP), Davao City Police Office (DCPO), and Task Force Davao (TFD) to speak on the peace and order in the city.

Persona non grata, literally means "an unwelcome person", expresses a person of position as unacceptable to the government, said Abellera, chairman committee on peace and order and public safety.

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The council began discussion on the declaration after Councilor Nilo Abellera gave a privilege speech January 19 lambasting statements from Alcover and Palparan, who declared the city unsafe.

The council thought this would lead to a negative effect on the city's image as an investment area thus made steps "to disprove accusations."

After hearing reports from TFD deputy chief Lieutenant Colonel Jim Niembra, DCPO chief Senior Superintendent Rene Aspera, and DCIP chief Bobby Teo all gave reports of the city being safe and have hit a record mark of investment in 2009, the Council passed the resolution as a committee of the whole under suspended rules.

"As far as we're concerned, it's clear now that Davao City is peaceful. No one can compete with the city in terms of law enforcement performance in keeping peace and recognitions as mentioned recieved by the city. (Alcover and Palparan) now have to look at these records which are contrary to what they have been saying," said Floor Leader Danilo Dayanghirang.

Earlier, Councilor Peter Laviña in a privilege speech repeated his reaction to a news article published in the Daily Tribune February 10, which featured statements from House Speaker Prospero Nograles condemning the Council for supposedly passing a persona non grata resolution to Alcover and Palparan. At the time the article appeared, the city council has not yet passed nor proposed any resolution about the two men.

"We did not pass such a thing. I immediately wrote to the Tribune's editor-in-chief Ninez Cacho-Olivarez in an email but so far they have not responded,” he said

"But what is quite clear from that news item was that the Speaker of the House has been caught lying because the things he said were direct quotes. I think what the council should do is formally write a letter to the Tribune (that what they published was wrong)," Laviña said.

In his report, Aspera said DCPO assessed that the city is generally peaceful and considered recent incidents as isolated.

"There are a lot of speculation that there is currently a deterioration on the city's peace and order because of the incident that happened between the clans from Maguindanao. We asess that it was only an isolated case in our area," Aspera said.

Asked to give a reaction on statements from Alcover and Palparan, Aspera gave his opposition. "Even if I've only stated 35 days as officer in charge of DCPO I can say that Davao City is a safe place," Aspera said.

Niembra, who spoke in behalf of TFD commander Colonel Oscar Lactao, said the city has least incidents on terrorism in Southeastern Mindanao.

Since 2000 to present, the city had the least number of bombing incidents out of 184 that occurred in Southeastern Mindanao.

"(The city) only had 3 incidents of bomb explosion; 2 in 2003, and 1 in 2005 with also 3 incidents of recovered unexploded bombs. Cotabato has the highest incident at 55 with 44 explosions and 11 recovered bombs followed by north Cotabato and Kidapawan and Maguindanao province with 25," Niembra said.

Teo for his part said businessmen and investors have great confidence on the economic situation of the city.

Based on total capitalization of business registered with the Business Bureau, figures are on upward trend since 1988 and in the last 5 years, the city recorded its biggest figures annually; registering more than P110 billion as of October 2009, Teo said.

"The entry of various foreign and local investments in the city is an indication that the economic situation of Davao City is stable. We attribute this to the peaceful climate and dynamism of the local economy which help maintained Davao City's competitive position among cities in the country and in Asia," Teo said.

Teo also promoted that that city have received awards for being a growing city.

"We have been awarded as the Most Competitive City four times, by the Asian Institute of Management and DTI (Department of Trade and Industry). We are the only city who ranked highest 3 times in the Philippines. We have also been cited by the Foreign Direct Investment magazine based in Singapore as the Next Feature City of Asie.

Dayanghirang said the reports from the agencies will also be forwarded to the Makati Business Club, the Senate, and House of Congress among others.