The Chinese tourists earlier reported missing (not by Palawan News – ed.) since February 6 are not missing but are in Barangay Port Barton, San Vicente enjoying their vacation, the Western Command (WESCOM) said Sunday.
Captain Cherryl Tindog, chief of the WESCOM Public Affairs Office, said Chinese tourist Tian Hua’s group was located Saturday at Coconut Garden Island Resort in Port Barton, San Vicente.
“Hindi naman sila nawawala. Ang latest based sa aming police partners — kasi sila ang lead agency dito — is that they are in San Vicente wala nga lang signal doon sa pinuntahan nila kaya sila hindi ma-contact ng families nila. Pero hindi po sila nawawala,” Tindog told Palawan News.
Tindog’s statement was also confirmed by assistant city tourism officer Demetrio Alvior, who said Hua’s group is in fact on their way now to El Nido.
A search for Hua and her relatives was organized by the police with the support of WESCOM after Philippine attache to China Rene Reyes reportedly contacted city tourism officer Aileen Cynthia Amurao on February 6 to help in locating them.
“Rene Reyes, who is our attache in China asked ma’am Aileen para ma-locate itong Chinese guests natin kasi ang last communication daw sa family ay noon pang February 6. Hindi naman sila nawawala, wala lang signal doon sa napuntahan nila sa Port Barton kaya di maka-contact sa families nila,” Alvior said.
He said under the circumstance, the City Tourism Office (CTO) communicated with the travel and tours organization to determine the details of their entry to Palawan and their flight manifests.
Provincial tourism officer Maribel Buñi, he said, assisted in linking with the municipal tourism offices of El Nido, Coron, and San Vicente to know their possible location and found them in Port Barton.
“Very safe sila at hindi missing. Ang engagement with local authorities is to help establish communication with them dahil baka napunta nga sa lugar na walang signal. Hindi sila ini-report na nawawala dahil bago ‘yon dapat i-establish muna namin ang mga details ng pagdating nila dito. We cannot just report na missing ng basta-basta,” he pointed out.
Amurao explained also Sunday that Hua and her group cannot be considered missing although it was what was said to her by Reyes.
She said the CTO is thankful for the help of the provincial and municipal tourism offices in establishing communication with Hua.
“No, [hindi sila considered missing. Reading between the lines of our tourism attache in China, nawawala pero hindi lang ma-contact ng family kasi walang signal sa Coconut Garden Island Resort sa San Vicente. Family ni Ms. Tian Hua ang nag-report sa Philippine Embassy sa China na nag-contact sa akin,” she said.