Disaster officials reprimand “showy” adventurists in quake hit town

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KIDAPAWAN CITY – For being showy in the midst of tragedy, three teenagers were summoned by disaster officials and reprimanded for setting foot in high risk areas of Makilala, North Cotabato.

Vice Gov. Shirlyn Macasarte-Villanueva, head of Incident Management Team of North Cotabato provincial disaster risk reduction and management council was assisted by local police and officials on Tuesday after the trio went by foot to the landslide area in Sitio Apoy-apoy, Barangay Buena Vida, Makilala. The three stayed and posed for photo session for about an hour then posted it on Facebook.

The post went viral as of Monday night.

Adventurous violators. photo shows four persons entering the no build zone. They were reprimanded by the provincial government.-Contributed photo

Macasarte-Villanueva said that the situation is no room for adventure or jokes when everyone is still in hurdle to recover from the impacts of the recent disasters.  As PDRRMC Incident Management Team head, she also feared that the teens’ lack of discernment on the incident unnecessarily exposed them to the risks of landslide. 

Netizens, however, were also critical on their opinion after seeing those posted images on FB.  One netizen described the teens as the “three stooges,” an American vaudeville and comedy team composed of three stupid characters, for coming up to a highly dangerous zone in Makilala.

“Pasikat” (showy) was how Macasarte-Villanueva described the trio’s adventure. 

While they apologized and promised never to do it again, Macasarte-Villanueva also warned them as rescuers may not easily have access to high risk areas such as those that are landslide-prone.

She, however, judiciously described how soldiers, policemen and firemen took risks in saving lives of other people in times of disaster, but could not imagine that risky behaviors like those of the three exist amidst misery and continued displacement of those affected by the calamity.

Disaster officials have declared the landslide area in the village of Buena Vida a “no man’s land” following the major quakes that rocked North Cotabato and other areas.-Edwin O. Fernandez

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