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Tourism activities to temporarily stop over AFP-NPA clash in Misamis Oriental

Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano said Thursday the provincial government has directed its tourism office to temporarily stop all tourism activities in Misamis Oriental in the wake of an ongoing armed conflict.

An ongoing armed conflict between troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and communist New People's Army (NPA) rebels has taken a toll on the tourism industry of Misamis Oriental province, he admitted.

Mountain climbing and hiking are some of the popular tourism activities in the province.

Emano said that the activities have to stop in order to safeguard the tourists from being caught in the crossfire between the warring NPA and government troops.

The governor cited the clashes in the hinterlands in the municipal towns of Sugbongcogon, Salay, Binuangan, and Kinoguitan, all in Misamis Oriental since February 27, killing a government soldier.

The clashes prompted local officials to suspend classes last Feb. 28 in six elementary public schools in the upland villages near the area where the firefight took place.

The areas of conflict fall within the jurisdiction of the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion under the 4th Infantry Division.

Lt. Junelle Diaz, Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion spokesperson, said that the government troops have recovered medicine, canned goods, boots, water containers and other personal belongings of the rebels when they overran a makeshift NPA camp in the mountain of Sugbongcogon. (PNA) LAP/NYP/CD/JIGGER J. JERUSALEM