BY JOANNA C. BALANZA
Undaunted by reports of foreign countries barring their citizens from travelling to Mindanao, Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Takehiko Nakao last week visited Davao City in Southern Mindanao for a tour of projects funded by his lending agency.
In Panabo City, Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario escorted the Japanese executive in visiting ADB-funded projects.
Among projects funded by Asia’s biggest lending agency are a public market, a transport terminal and a village water system.
Nakao’s visit comes on the hells of advisories issued by the United States, Australia and Canada advising their citizens not to travel in Mindanao for security reasons.
The Davao Region, particularly Davao City, had been recently placed on military and police high alert over reports of terrorist attacks on key urban cities.
The alert was sparked by information given by President Benigno Aquino to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte about the impending violence fed him by military. Aquino would later say however that the information about threats from terrorists was “raw” that was not verified.
Davao City has ended up as the biggest casualty of reports about a potential terrorist attack, with the organizers of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) 2015 delisting the city from a list of cities that would host side meetings of the annual summit of the 21-nation APEC. Davao City was the only Mindanao city in the shortlist.
Davao City was initially in the shortlist of cities picked to host ministerial meetings but was cancelled out due to potential security threats from terrorist groups.
APEC 2015 is a yearlong event starting in December 2014 and ending with the APEC 2015 Summit in Manila in December 2015.