Cebu new venue for 68th PAL Interclub
Next year’s 68th staging of the Philippine Airlines Interclub has been moved out of Mindanao for security reasons.
Originally set at Del Monte in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, and Pueblo de Oro in Cagayan de Oro, the annual team championships will now be staged in Cebu.
Bel Malabanan, an officer of the tournament secretariat, sent out an email to team captains of clubs competing in the tournament advising them of the new courses to be used on Feb. 19 to 22 for the seniors play and on Feb. 25 to 28 for the regular Interclub.
“We value your safety,” the email stated. “Due to the recent unforeseen incidents in Cagayan de Oro, … the 68th PAL Golf Interclub will be moved to Cebu.
“With this, no (more) changes will be made in the tournament schedule:
“Seniors Tournament: Feb. 19 to 22, 2015, in Club Filipino de Cebu and Mactan Island Golf and Country Club; Regular Tournament: Feb. 25 to 28, 2015 in Cebu Country Club and Club Filipino de Cebu.”
The transfer to Cebu was confirmed to the Inquirer by PAL president Jimmy Bautista.
“Yes, we will move the Interclub to Cebu because many teams are concerned about the peace and order in Cagayan de Oro,” Bautista said in a text message.
Henry Arabelo, the tournament director of Multi Media Exponents (MME) which was hired by the previous management of the PAL to run the Interclub, earlier confirmed the management decision regarding the transfer.
In the latest bombing in the South, 11 people were killed and 20 others were wounded on Dec. 10 when a bomb exploded inside a Rural Transit Mindanao, Inc. bus along the highway in Maramag, Bukidnon.
On Nov. 6, another RTMI bus bound for Cagayan de Oro City was also bombed. Four persons were injured.
The safety of local and foreign golfers is a major factor in the selection of PAL’s host city.
About half of the expected field of 1,500 players come from PAL destinations abroad.
Following the Maguindanao massacre in 2010, the 63rd edition was also transferred from Cagayan de Oro and Del Monte to Bacolod. The Interclub was held in Cebu for several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s because of security concerns in Davao.