|The article below is by Dante Fabian, a local reporter that has frequently fabricated parts of articles or whole articles. The street is closed, that part is true. I have talked to several club owners and all report business is normal or slightly above normal.|
Monday, October 16, 2006
Bomb threats prompt sealing of tourism zone
By Dante M. Fabian
THE Angeles City police, augmented by troops from the Regional Mobile Group (RMG), continue to enforce a ban on the entry of vehicles along the Fields Avenue Tourism Center here for the third night.
The sealing off of the tourism district here has raised speculations from some quarters of bomb threats from terrorist groups, spawning fear among tourists, which has prevented them from staying out.
Motorists driving through the area near the main gate of the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) have also complained of heavy traffic congestions as the PNP closed alternate routes usually taken to avoid traffic jams.
Both bar operators and employees have reported a steep dip in their sales and incomes, saying that only few customers have entered their bars since the police closed the street to vehicles.
Waitresses said that for the first two nights of the ban, they earned only a fifth of the tips they usually received before the police reaction to the "bomb threats."
Bar managers said business that has been slow even before the sealing off of the street, dropped their sales by at least 70 percent.
"It is like the whole district has been hit by a bomb since business is almost dead now," said a bar operator.
He said that employees, mamasans, waitresses, bartenders and dancers are the ones who have suffered much from the security measures taken by the PNP.
The resulting financial slowdown has also affected boutiques, Internet cafes, food shops and other businesses patronized mostly by bar girls.
Senior Superintendent Policarpio Segubre, chief of the Angeles police, said that the security measures in the tourism district were taken upon directives emanating from higher ups in the PNP hierarchy.
Segubre said the reason for the sealing off of Fields Avenue was not specified by the PNP, adding that the orders were to barricade the roads leading to the main tourism center. He also declined to confirm fears expressed by most tourists and stakeholders in the tourism industry here that the move was related to bomb threats from terrorist groups or was an offshoot of the terror bombings that recently rocked some parts of Mindanao.
Jun Realino, president of the Balibago Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (Btoda), said the closure has deprived members of their group the opportunity to earn their living to support their families.
Elmer Garcia, president of the association of traders located at the stalls owned by the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), said many of the members have aired their complaints against the sudden moves of the police.
Garcia said his members have been earning very minimal incomes and the closure of Fields Avenue has made life even more difficult to them since their patrons have been scared off by the closure of the street, making them believe this was taken due to a threat of terrorist bombing attack.