The US Embassy in Manila has warned that terrorist groups may be planning kidnappings in Palawan.
The warning, issued today (Tuesday, May 9), singles out the area surrounding the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park as a particular concern.
Last month the embassy warned citizens of a kidnap plot in the Western Visayas. Just two days later, a group of Abu Sayyaf terrorists landed on the island of Bohol.
The warning in full reads: “The US Embassy has received credible information that terrorist groups may be planning to conduct kidnapping operations targeting foreign nationals in the areas of Palawan Province, Philippines, to include Puerto Princesa City, and the areas surrounding Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. US citizens are advised to carefully consider this information as they make their travel plans and to review personal security plans, avoid large crowds and gatherings, and remain vigilant at all times.”
The embassy has also taken the opportunity to remind citizens of its latest ‘Worldwide Caution’ issued in March.
This warned that there was an ongoing threat of terrorist actions and violence against US citizens and interests across the world, including the Philippines.
The message reads: “The Extremists have targeted sporting events, theatres, 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.
“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.”
The military is currently engaged in a reinvigorated crackdown against groups such as Abu Sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Ansar Al-Khilafa Philippines and the Maute group, whose traditional strongholds are mainly in the southeast of the country.
As we have previously reported, the military offensive comes amid intelligence reports that embattled Islamic State terrorists are looking to the Philippines as a new base as they lose ground in the Middle East.
For further information or to contact the embassy, visit its website here.