Istambay sa Mindanao

Personal blog of MindaNews' Walter I. Balane. Visit for more news, views and information on Mindanao.

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Location: Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines

I'm Walter Balane. I am a journalist based in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines. I initiated the group called Atong Press ( for press freedom and responsibility and media education in Bukidnon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Updates: Grrrrrr ...

It is always a long (5 hours) and stressful trip from Malaybalay to Davao. Traveling the route today was no different. But there was a twist: when we passed by Marilog district right at the Task Force Davao checkpoint, the bus was stopped and all male passengers were asked to step down.

Apparently, the bus was left almost empty for there were only seven female passengers in that trip, including two cuddling infants. I just did not like the act o f going down the bus just because I’m male (and the usual suspects in terrorist acts? C’mon!) Then we were made to fall in line to go back to our seats as an officer inspected our pockets and bags.

Yeah I know, the days of the Kadayawan festival is here and we need to secure the safety of the public and to show to the world that Davao is safe. Ok ok ok.

But woe to the country’s most gender sensitive city! C’mon! What if the terrorist in the bus is a woman? So that act (of making passengers disembark) all in all falls immaterial and could be seen as totally just a mockery of public safety measures! That did not make the city a safer place to visit! Are they afraid to enrage women’s groups with the inspection? Nope, don't get me wrong, I don't want them to inspect the women either! But my point is, it surely was the most blatant manifestation of insecurity! Don't ask me to give my alternative, that's the job of the national security adviser!


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