MANILA–The Australian government has advised its residents traveling to Manila to exercise “high degree of caution” after Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa confirmed Monday receiving information that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings in Central Visayas.
In a travel advisory, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade urged its residents to “pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media about possible new safety or security risks.”
“We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines due to the high threat of terrorist attack and the high level of crime,” the advisory said.
The Australian government called on its citizens to “exercise heightened vigilance and review your personal security plans” should they decide to push through with their travel plans to Cebu and Bohol.
The Australian government also advised its citizens to “reconsider” their next travel to Eastern Mindanao, with a strong advice not to travel to Central and Western portion of the island, including the Sulu archipelago and Southern Sulu Sea.
“There is a very high threat of kidnapping in the southern Philippines, especially at coastal resorts and isolated coastal locations,” the travel advisory said.
“The threat is highest along the Zamboanga peninsula and in the Sulu Archipelago. Groups based in the Sulu Archipelago have demonstrated the capability to carry out attacks at locations around Mindanao and in eastern Malaysia,” it added.
On Sunday, the United States Embassy in Manila said it has received “unsubstantiated yet credible” information that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings in Central Visayas, which includes Cebu and Bohol provinces.
The US Embassy also reminded its nationals of the most recent “Worldwide Caution,” dated March 7, 2017, which indicates that there is an ongoing threat of terrorist actions and violence against US citizens and interests abroad, including the Philippines.