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Cebu News

Second round of Ministerial meetings: Cops to ensure APEC guests don’t fall prey to ‘laglag bala’

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Work on the unpaved portion of the heavily-congested stretch of Plaridel Street in Mandaue City will be temporarily stopped for a week to give way to Asia-Pacific Economic Conference meetings on October 8 to 14.

This as the Police Regional Office-7 assured it would make sure delegates of the coming APEC meetings would not be victimized by unscrupulous airport officers extorting money from foreigners.

Called “laglag bala,” the modus operandi became public after some foreign guests recently posted in social media that their baggage were “planted” with one or two live bullets and the security personnel asked money so they would get away with the “offense” and would be set free.

The incidents reportedly happened at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Chief Superintendent Prudencio Tom Bañas, PRO-7 director, said such incident happening on APEC delegates is improbable as they are escorted upon arrival at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

He, however, said they would still watch out for such a scheme as a “future occurrence”.

“Medyo malayo na mangyari although I’m not saying na it’s impossible. And we will do our best na hindi nga mangyari iyon dito sa atin,” said Bañas.

He said that if in case the delegates left their things unattended at the airport and the baggage are later found with bullets inside, the investigators will not automatically hold them liable but would look into the circumstances first.

“Titingnan naman if there is any reason someone would bring one or two live bullets in an airport. Kung magdadala man lang sila, but dalawa pa, damihan na lang nila kung ganun. So it’s illogical,” said Bañas adding that the investigators must consider these things.

 “The will of the law stays. We do not tolerate human rights violations,” he added.

An expected 300 to 700 foreign delegates will arrive in Cebu next month for the second round of APEC meetings.

That is why the organizers requested for the Department of Public Works and Highways-7 to temporarily halt the ongoing rehabilitation of Plaridel Street so as not to disrupt traffic flow for the delegates.

“Nag-request na yung APEC National Organizing Committee and siyempre mag-agree kami sa request nila,” said DPWH-7 Director Ador Canlas.

He said that before the infrastructure project was also halted during the APEC meetings last August 22 to September 12, the project was more or less “70 percent complete” already.

The DPWH-Sixth Engineering District immediately resumed road works after September 12.

The two APEC meetings is the APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting chaired by Depart-ment of Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya on October 8 to 10 and the APEC Energy Ministerial Meeting chaired by Department of Energy Acting Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada on October 12 to 14.

The APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting will tackle urbanization, economic development, and the rising volume of people and goods moving within and between Asia-Pacific markets, which increased the strain on transportation infrastructure and threaten to undermine the capacity for trade and growth across the region’s economies.

The transportation ministers will also discuss the people’s changing transportation needs, transportation safety and security, disaster resilient infrastructure, green technology and innovation in transportation, and regional connectivity.

The APEC Energy Ministerial Meeting, on the other hand, would look into fluctuations in global energy prices in relation to the needs of transitioning Asia-Pacific economies to ensure sustainable energy supply essential to long-term development, meeting higher power demand among the region’s three billion people, and tackling associated environmental challenges.

The energy ministers from the APEC economies, which are the world’s biggest producers and consumers of energy, will discuss new measures to boost regional energy security and inclusive, sustainable growth. Areas of emphasis will include improving energy access, renewable energy use, efficiency and reductions in carbon emissions. /RHM (FREEMAN)

ACIRC

APEC

ASIA-PACIFIC

ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC CONFERENCE

ATILDE

CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT PRUDENCIO TOM BA

ENERGY

ENERGY MINISTERIAL MEETING

MANDAUE

PLARIDEL STREET

TRANSPORTATION

TRANSPORTATION MINISTERIAL MEETING

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