Davao A Wonder

The city government of Davao is intensifying its campaign to be enlisted in the  nomination round for the New7WonderCities.

It hopes  to qualify for Phase two by gaining the most number of internet votes in the Philippines. By March 7, the campaign will bring down the list to 300 cities, that includes one city per country plus the 77 cities voted in Phase 1.

Jail Break From Kidapawan

Dozens of black-clad gunmen armed with grenades and bombs stormed a southern Philippine jail trying to free a detained comrade, but they were repulsed by police in a chaotic night battle that killed three people, officials said Monday.

Fifteen people were wounded, most of them civilians caught in the firefight late Sunday outside Kidapawan's city hall compound and along a key commercial road. Military and police officials blamed former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, but a spokesman for the Muslim rebel group denied the claim.

Tourism Hit In Mindanao

THE travel advisories against Mindanao have been hurting tourism in Davao City, where foreigners accounted for only 10 percent of all visitors last year, an official said Friday.

“Some countries are very obedient to travel advisories,” Davao City Tourism Office head Jason Magnaye told the Manila Standard on the sidelines of the National Tourism Statistics Conference 2012 in Manila.

Davao City has what it takes to become a premier tourist destination, but the negative travel advisories against some areas as a result of violence or the presence of insurgents or bandits have been hurting Davao, Magnaye says.
Some 730,000 people visited Davao City last year, but “90 percent of them were local tourists and the rest were foreigners,” he said.

Troops Looking For Kidnap Victims

Around 5 000 troops were sent to search for two European birdwatchers abducted in the southern Philippines, a provincial official said on Saturday.

Elwold Horn, 52, from Holland and Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 47, of Switzerland were kidnapped on February 1 while on a small boat off the island town of Panglima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi province, 1 050 kilometres south of Manila.

Child Kidnapping

The police on Thursday filed charges of kidnapping with serious illegal detention against a couple for allegedly snatching last Tuesday night a three-year-old boy in Magsaysay town in Davao del Sur, a police official said.

Chief Inspector Roberto Carao, chief of the Magsaysay police, identified the suspects as Percida Abrea, 39, of Barangay Lower Bala, Magsaysay; and Abdurahim Utto Akas, 31, an Arabic teacher from Cotabato City.

Carao said complaints of violation of the Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code were filed against the suspects at the Davao Provincial Prosecution Office in Digos City.

The suspects were placed under inquest proceedings and have remained in the custody of the Magsaysay Police.

Carao said his men apprehended the couple inside Room Number 9 of the Bansalan Lodge in Bansalan town, also in Davao del Sur, after authorities received tips from their informants the suspects were staying in the area with the victim.

Do Not Extort Foreign Husbands

THE newly designated chief of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Davao City warned Filipinas against extorting from their foreigner husbands.
"Do not use our office as a vehicle to harass foreigners," said Florentino G. Diputado, new BI Davao acting alien control officer.

Diputado, who is acting alien control officer of BI Cagayan de Oro before he assumed the Davao post on February 6, said there were many instances when Filipinas file complaints before their office claiming to be battered wives.

He said not all complaints are held true based on BI investigation.
"Case-to-case basis kasi kami," he said, adding they would immediately call the attention of the foreigners involved and give his right to defend themselves.
He said they would later find out that most complaints were extortion related.
Wikipedia.com defines extortion as not only the unlawful demanding and obtaining of something through force, but additionally, in its formal definition, the infliction of something such as pain and suffering or making somebody endure something unpleasant.

Bird Watchers Kidnapped

  •  Police said Friday that local thugs, not al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants, were likely to have abducted two European tourists this week in the southern Philippines.
    Police Director Felicisimo Khu said the kidnappers had not contacted authorities or made any ransom demand.

    Ewold Horn of the Netherlands, Lorenzo Vinciguerra of Switzerland and their Filipino guide, Ivan Sarenas, were abducted Wednesday during a bird-watching trip to Tawi-Tawi, the Philippines’ southernmost province. They were the latest kidnap victims in an impoverished region infested with al-Qaida-linked militants and criminal gangs that often seek ransom for their foreign hostages.
    Sarenas escaped hours later by jumping off their captors’ boat after he saw some fishermen, who rescued him.
The Department of Tourism on Friday seemingly laid the blame for the kidnapping of two Europeans in Tawi-Tawi squarely on the victims' shoulders.
In a press statement issued late Friday, the DOT stressed that "the issuance of travel advisories is part of the regular functions of embassies in line with ensuring the safety and security of their citizens in a foreign country. For the Philippines, advice against travel to some parts of Mindanao has been constant and common." The DOT then added: "The Tawi-Tawi incident is considered unfortunate and could have been avoided had the visitors taken necessary precautions many European tourists usually take in heed of these advisories."

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