Davao City is keeping up with its promise of safety and security by providing services and truthful information free to all, thus, the tagline “Life is Here.”

The assurance of safety and security to its constituents and tourists alike has always been a pride of Davao City. The city was cited as the “Safest City” in the world several times in 2015 according to the user-contributed survey site Numbeo.com. So notable that it became its trademark.

This promise has built up the people’s confidence to live here and had been drawing investors to sow business in the city. The truth behind the tagline, “Life is Here”

With the equipment, facilities, and people following international standards assuring the city is free of harm and threats from subversive incendiaries, Davao, through the 911 response team with the joint effort of Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines, is fully armed and geared to fight both natural and man-made disasters.

Photo from Fr. Jboy Gonzales, S.J.
Photo from Fr. Jboy Gonzales, S.J.

The local government has invested several internationally-standardized and high-end equipment and facilities such as ambulance, firefighting facilities, Rescue and 911 Emergency Response system, and counterterrorism equipment among others. The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are also its best assets. The city is ready for natural and man-made disasters.

Or so it seemed.

But just last night, a shocking event changed the peaceful living of the Davaoeños. CNN reported that the bomb blasted in a massage area in the Roxas Night Market leaving 10 dead on the spot and more than 60 wounded as of this writing.

On September 2, 2016 at exactly 10:17 PM, a blast at one of its most crowded places, the Roxas Night Market, shocked Davaoenos. An improvised explosive device (IED) believed to be plotted by the terror group Abu Sayyaf, detonated at the massage area, killing 10 people while wounding around 60 more. Later, it was claimed by another terror group, Maute.

It has been said that Abu Sayyaf, a known terrorist group linked to ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), released a statement that it will wage terrorism in the country after the first President from Mindanao, Rodrigo Duterte declared an all-out war order.

Photo credits to MindaVote

The painful adversity teared the Davaoeños and are now fearing for their security.

Hours prior to the bombing, there were text messages circulating, warning Davaoeños to stay safe and vigilant for possible threats and another rounds of bombings to happen due to the all-out war against terrorism.

Fear has shakened the Davaoeños. It caused worry about where the next target place could be. Some even doubt if it’s still safe to stay in Davao after the bombing. However, the city government locked down the city for safety purposes alongside the President’s declaration of “State of Lawlessness” to suppress terrorism.

Photo Credits to Lai Acenas

Davao City is known to be one of the world’s safest cities, but after the bombing, people are now doubtful of its reputation when it comes to security.

And what worsened the panic from this ill-fated incident is the unverified reports circulating in social media. Others even mocked us saying, “What happened to the safest city?” “It’s not safe to live in Davao anymore.”

Despite that, we have once proved that our netizens can enthrone a mayor to presidency by delivering truthful information to the people and I believe, we can do it in this moment where there’s a great security threat.

But for Davaoenos, while social media helped us enthrone a mayor to presidency, we believe it can also be the tool to bring back the confidence in our security forces. It can be done by spreading truthful information and rectifying and avoiding misinformation.

The chaos that is happening today doesn’t only call for resilience and vigilance, but also the responsibility in using the social media. Nowadays, the internet is being used to spread lies and hatred instead of promoting goodness, peace, and love. This is why we need more responsible netizens to help in building good relationships with other social media users not just in Davao, but in the whole country and ultimately, the world.