AVOIDING MARAWI VIOLENCE SPILLOVER
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has advised visitors and tourists to avoid her city over fears ongoing terrorist violence in Western Mindanao could spill over to Davao City.
Duterte-Carpio gave out the advice past midnight of May 23 as she emerged from an emergency meeting with security officials she called in wake of the attack by the terrorist Maute Group on Marawi City afternoon of the same day.
Duterte-Carpio’s advice comes just hours after President Rodrigo Duterte, her father, while in Russia on official visit, placed Mindanao under martial law to give government authorities more powers to end the terroristic violence.
While Marawi city is in western Mindanao more than 250 kms. away from Davao City in the southern part, Duterte-Carpio’s city is no stranger to violence that spilled out from trouble in other regions.
In 2003, while basking in pride for its excellent peace and order as Mindanao’s premier metropolis, terrorists sneaked into the city to launch two separate bombing attacks that killed dozens and wounded hundred others. In September last year, 15 people were killed and 70 others were injured, when alleged members of the Maute Group or the Abu Sayyaf bombed the city’s busy Night MarketNight Market on Roxas Avenue, as government troopers battled the terror group in fierce firefights in Marawi.
The attacks months apart in March and april on the Davao International Airport and the Sasa Wharf happened as government forces were waging an all-out war against Moro rebels in Central Mindanao.
Duterte-Carpio urged visitors to cancel their trips to Davao City if these are not important.
She also advised Davao residents to stay home, as in support to her father’s declaration of martial law, she has ordered deployment of land and sea police and military checkpoints to thwart entry of terrorists.
If they don’t want to be thoroughly inspected in multiple checkpoints, they should not come to the city, said the mayor.