A foreign conservation group has canceled a research project on tarsiers in Mt. Matutum in South Cotabato supposedly due to security concerns.
Tupi town Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said in a statement the California-based Endangered Species International (ESI) informed the local government unit that the research project has been suspended due to fears of retaliatory attacks from supporters of slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
US President Barack Obama earlier confirmed the death of the Al Qaeda leader, hence raising fears of global terror attacks from Bin Laden’s supporters.
Tamayo said that two London-based researchers have failed to secure a travel clearance to Mindanao due to security concerns.
“Our researchers could not get an approval from their university to come to Mindanao due to safety issues. [But] we will be working to get approval from their university so we can commence the research,” the mayor quoted French scientist Pierre Fidence, ESI president, as saying.
The extremist Abu Sayyaf, which is allegedly affiliated with Al Qaida, operates in key areas of Mindanao but are mainly concentrated in the western region.
The tarsier research project in Mt. Matutum should have started on May 5 if not for the death of Bin Laden, Tamayo said.