‘Need to specify which Lanao’
I am writing to call the attention to two news reports (“4 foreigners killed in Lanao clashes,” 4/26/17; “36 members of Maute killed, 3 soldiers hurt in Lanao clashes,” 4/24/17), which appeared in both the Inquirer’s print edition and official website, regarding the armed confrontation between government troops and the Maute group in Lanao del Sur.
Much to my dismay, both reports failed to distinguish Lanao del Sur from our province, Lanao del Norte.
Through Republic Act No. 2228, Lanao province was divided into two provinces in 1959. Lanao del Norte, which is located in the northern part of Mindanao, is in Region X, while Lanao del Norte is in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Aside from this distinction in geographical location, there is also a big difference between the two provinces in terms of cultural relations. The population of Lanao del Norte is primarily composed of Christians. Throughout the years, we have worked hard on maintaining peace through unity and protecting our lands from terrorist groups such as the Abu Sayyaf and Maute.
It is imperative for mass media to stop making generalizations in their reports as it will greatly affect the entities connected to the term being used. As in our case, this generalization will definitely have adverse effects on our efforts to promote tourism and investments in our province.
Further, it would also be unfair to the AFP and other uniformed personnel stationed in our province who have valiantly protected our province from acts of violence. Their reputation would be damaged simply because of such careless generalizations.
REP. ABDULLAH D. DIMAPORO
2nd District, Lanao del Norte
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