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Report: Renown Philippine's Dive Destination Apo Island Not Exempt from Terrorists; Firearms Kept Hidden

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APO ISLAND, The Philippines -- Apo Island's dive site is not exempted from the threat of terrorism, island village chief Mario Pascobello said.

Pascobello said issued firearms of police officers are kept inside bags or they cover them in order not to frighten the visitors.

Aside from the police officers, the world renowned tourist destination has its own fish wardens and tanods who are equipped with communications equipment including cellphones.

They are the frontliners in warding off the presence of illegal fishers and could immediately contact any police force if there are suspected would be terrorists in the area.

Pascobello confirmed the presence of uniformed police personnel on the island as it played host to officers and men including volunteers of Greenpeace ship MY Esperanza last week.

He said, however, that the presence of uniformed police officers might be misinterpreted by foreign tourists, prompting the PNP provincial director to reassign them somewhere else on the island

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