Teo will promote Mindanao tourist destinations despite martial law
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said on Thursday she would still sell the prime tourist destinations in Mindanao despite the declaration of martial law in the entire southern region.
In an interview with Pinky Webb in the CNN Philippines program “The Source,” Teo said the Department of Tourism would work double time to promote the country as a safe destination despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s imposition of martial law in the whole Mindanao following the siege of Marawi City by the terror group Maute.
“We will double our (efforts),” Teo said. “When there are bombings, whenever there is martial law in a country, people start thinking: ‘Oh, is it safe?’ But if we continue advertising our country, they would say: ‘Oh, it’s safe’.”
Asked if she would recommend tourist destinations in Luzon and the Visayas, with Mindanao now under martial rule, Teo said she would still recommend the Mindanao tourist destinations like in Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao, Siargao, and Davao City.
But she would not recommend tourists to go to the conflict-stricken Marawi City, which has been under sieged by the terror group Maute.
“I will say they can go to Mindanao, because it’s still safe. Business as usual,” she said. “It’s only confined in Marawi. Of course they cannot go to Marawi. But they can always go to Siargao, Surigao, Cagayan de Oro, Davao.”
“I would still sell these destination despite martial law,” she added.
Duterte declared martial law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao following the attack of the Maute Group in Marawi, the terrorist burned buildings, hostaged people hostaged, and raised Islamic State flags.
Duterte warned that his orders would be shoot to kill, and that warrantless arrests could be carried out in Mindanao following his declaration. He also warned that martial law there would be no different and as harsh as that declared by the dictator Marcos.
The President even said he was considering imposing martial law nationwide if terror groups inspired by Islamic State should gain a foothold in Luzon and the Visayas.
According to the 1987 Constitution, the president as commander-in-chief of all armed forces may declare martial law or suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus to “prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion ” for 60 days subject to approval of Congress. /atm
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