WHEN it comes to security, be it in their homeland or overseas, first world countries like the US, Canada and Australia are quick in the draw of issuing travel warnings.
These countries are dead serious and have no second thoughts of securing its citizenry out of harm’s way. No debate about that.
What makes so alarming is the tagging itself. Their penchant of labeling the PH as a terrorist haven -- not realizing so well that their own country has more than enough terroristic activities year in and year out – is itself a deafening statement that mirrors their lack of discernment, diplomatic respect and proper decorum.
Such in the case of the recent Christmas shooting incident in a local mall in Cotabato City. A very isolated case blown out by social media and quickly concluded by the Australian Embassy as a terror incident.
In an instant, Australia issued a travel advisory warning its citizens to take extra caution when traveling to Mindanao saying that the island is not safe for its citizens.
The Australian Embassy’s latest travel warning has again stirred fear from the hundreds of local and foreign tourists visiting Mindanao.
Likewise, the U.S. Embassy took no time in disseminating information to its citizens to consider travel plans carefully and at the same time exercise heightened vigilance when traveling to Mindanao.
It is not that fun to receive these travel bulletins sourced out from embassies posted in this country. It’s a classic case of adding insult to injury.
And most often than not, it draws negative impact as to the capability of our intelligence community to gather “credible information” before events get out of hand.
The reversal of the issuance of travel warnings could be possible if only our government, this current administration in particular, is hell bent on changing the rules of the game.
Maybe the key word here is doing the right thing of being proactive rather than the usually reactive mode.
Case in point: After the U.S. announcement, government functionaries immediately reacted and put up “security measures” for the people to take note.
A reactionary statement such as this: “Taking all reports seriously, keeping monitoring and vigilance in place and vigilance, taking all necessary precautions “ is overly abused, even to the extent of becoming irrelevant, and worse deafening to the ordinary ears
We often hear this after the travel advisory: “Citizens are advised to carefully consider this travel advisory as you make your travel plans. A review of personal security plan to include the avoidance of large crowds and gatherings is highly advised. Please remain vigilant at all times.
And this is much deafening to the ears: “Security tightened amid U.S. travel alert”.
To play second fiddle on intelligence gathering places this country in a dismal situation in the eyes of the global community.
Acts of terrorism are sometimes used as cover up of other countries ineptitude of protecting their own people. (firstname.lastname@example.org)