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EOS Alerts 9-5-2017

Philippines: US Embassy Issues Security Message Warning of the Threat of Kidnap

Us Embassy advises they have received information to suggest terrorist groups may be planning to kidnap foreign nationals

On 9 May, the US Embassy in Manila issued a security message advising that they had received credible information to suggest that terrorist groups may be planning to carry out kidnaps on foreign nationals in the areas of Palawan Province, Philippines, to include Puerto Princesa City, and the areas surrounding Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) are known to operate in the Philippines and frequently carry out abductions for financial gain.

Terrorism is perhaps the biggest threat to tourist safety in the Philippines and continues to be an increasing and ongoing problem. The areas of Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago and the Zamboanga Peninsula are all considered to be extremely dangerous and travellers are advised not to go there. Rural areas of the country, including the island of Luzon to the north, should also be avoided as they have seen increased presence of the terrorist organisation The New People‘s Army (NPA). Over the past few years, terrorist acts involving explosive devices in North Cotabato Province, Basilan, Isabela City, Jolo, Cotabato City, Makati and the Zamboanga airport have collectively resulted in the deaths of 41 people and injured over a hundred others. Most of these bombings took place on public transportation, such as buses and in crowded locations like restaurants and cathedrals. The provinces of Sarangani, North and South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte and Pangutaran Island carry a higher risk of kidnap and should be avoided.

Those operating or residing in the Philippines are advised to be aware of the threat of kidnapping and terrorism and to avoid travelling to the above-mentioned areas. Contract a reliable local security escort for purposes of business and critical travel. 

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