MANILA–The US Embassy in Manila on Sunday issued a travel advisory to their citizens in Central Visayas about “unsubstantiated yet credible” reports of kidnappings.
“The US Embassy has received unsubstantiated yet credible information that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings in Central Visayas, which includes both Cebu and Bohol provinces,” the embassy said in a statement posted on its website.
US citizens were advised to “carefully consider this information as you make your travel plans and to review personal security plans, avoid large crowds and gatherings, and remain vigilant at all times.”
The Embassy pointed out that there is an ongoing “threat of terrorist actions and violence” against American citizens and interests abroad, including the Philippines, as stated in a “Worldwide Caution” released last March.
“Extremists have targeted sporting events, theaters, markets, mass transportation systems–including airlines, and other public venues where large crowds gather. Crowded nightclubs, shopping malls, buses and popular restaurants have also been targets,” the travel warning stated.
“US citizens should be mindful of the importance of taking preventative measures to ensure their safety and security while travelling and residing in the Philippines,” it added.
This is not the first time that the US Embassy warned Americans about travelling to the Philippines.
Last December, it urged its citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Sulu province due to “continued terrorist threats, insurgent activities, and kidnappings.”