UK, Australia, Canada caution travel to RP following Makati blast
by ABS CBN News
The United Kingdom, Australia and Canada updated their travel advisories on the Philippines following the explosion that killed nine people and wounded more ...
The Philippine Star
At least three foreign governments advised Saturday their citizens to exercise a high degree of caution while in the Philippines, citing the continued threat of terrorism and last Friday’s bombing at the Glorietta mall in Makati City.
The United Kingdom, Australia and Canada updated their travel advisories on the Philippines following the explosion that killed nine people and wounded more than a hundred others.
Meanwhile, the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce renewed it support for the Philippines and called on US investors to continue doing business in the country.
Australia advised its citizens to be cautious in the country following reports that terrorists are planning more attacks in high-value targets that include places frequented by foreigners.
"Investigations are ongoing but the possibility of a terrorist bomb attack cannot be discounted," the Australian advisory stated.
It said some reports suggest that terrorists could conduct attacks in Metro Manila and Mindanao, particularly the Sulu archipelago.
Places frequented by foreigners, such as bars, pubs, shopping malls, fastfood outlets, and places of worship may be targeted for attack, it added.
"If you do decide to travel, you should exercise extreme vigilance when you are in the Philippines," it said.
The Australian government strongly advised its citizens to avoid traveling to Mindanao, the Zamboanga peninsula and Sulu because of the high threat of terrorist attacks, kidnapping and related government counter-terrorism operations.
The British government’s advisory noted that terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and the intent to carry them out any time and anywhere in the country.
"The cause of the explosion is not yet known. There is a high threat from terrorism throughout the Philippines," the British government’s travel advisory stated.
"Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets in public places including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers," it said.
The British government also advised their citizens against all travel to Mindanao because of ongoing terrorist activities.
It cited frequent terrorist attacks against civilian targets throughout Mindanao. Most recently, on Oct. 5, two bombs exploded in Kidapawan City, reportedly killing two and injuring 30 others.
Canada, meanwhile, urged its citizens to exercise caution in the Philippines because of bombings in Mindanao, Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada reviewed and updated the travel advisory following the Glorietta mall bombing.
It also cited continuing reports suggesting that there is an ongoing terrorist threat to Westerners and Western interests in the Philippines.
"Philippine authorities have warned that there may be bomb attacks in Manila and other key cities," it said.
Despite a number of highly publicized arrests of persons allegedly associated with terrorist groups, Canada said the threat of terrorist actions remains.
Canada advised its nationals against all travel to Sulu, Basilan, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, Sarangani, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao unless they have critical or compelling business or family reasons.
Butch Meily, president of the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce and an executive of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., and Richard Rosenberg, chamber chairman and president of Data Symmetry, said in a statement that the business community has faith in the Filipino people and the local economy.
"We believe in the Philippines and its future, we believe in the strength of its economy and most of all, we believe in the capability, fortitude and goodness of the Filipino people. We call on the business community in the Philippines and the US to continue to invest in the country and provide jobs," they said in the statement. – Pia Lee-Brago