Lobregat cries ‘unfair’ on US travel advisory vs Zambo City PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 31 May 2013 11:32

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday described as “very unfortunate and unfair” the latest travel advisory issued by the United States Embassy against Zamboanga City, saying that no less than US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. was in the city Wednesday and nothing untoward happened.

“The US Embassy was asking its nationals to re-evaluate their travel plans to Zamboanga and I am also asking the US Embassy to re-evaluate its travel advisory,” Lobregat said, adding that when Ambassador Thomas was in the city the other day there was no mention about any travel advisory.

“Of course, any travel advisory from anywhere in the world will always have an effect,” he asked when asked whether the latest US travel advisory would affect the city’s tourism programs.

To recall, Ambassador Thomas visited the city Wednesday, probably his last prior to his scheduled transfer to another country, to launch three projects of the United State Agency of International Development (USAID) namely; the Enhancing Governance, Accountability and Engagement (ENGAGE) Project, the Mindanao Youth Development (MYDEV) Project, and Mindanao Health Project.

Lobregat was invited to a breakfast with the ambassador together with USAID and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) officials in a local hotel. He also had a chance to speak at the project launching at noon after the ambassador had delivered his speech.

“But nothing was mentioned about any threats to the Americans in the city and no less than the ambassador was here on the day the embassy issued its travel advisory. That is very, very unfortunate and unfair,” Lobregat repeated.

According to him, when the US, the most powerful country in the world, was under terror attack during the infamous 9/11, when the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were bombed, “we in Zamboanga City or in Mindanao did not issue a travel advisory against the US. We did not say do not go to America because it’s dangerous there?” — Vic Larato