“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to western and central Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups,” the travel advisory issued yesterday said.
UK warns vs travel to parts of Mindanao
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The United Kingdom has warned British citizens against traveling to Min-danao in the wake of last Monday’s bombing of a shopping mall in Cotabato City that killed two people and left several others injured.

“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to western and central Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups,” the travel advisory issued yesterday said. 

The FCO had advised against traveling to the remainder of Mindanao but excluded Camiguin, Dinagat and Siargao islands. The advisory also covered south of Cebu province, up to and including the municipalities of Dalaguete and Badian, citing threat of terrorism.

The UK travel advisory also cited the US Transport Security Administration public notice on Dec. 26, highlighting poor aviation security at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

“Additional security measures are in place on flights departing from this airport to the UK. You should co-operate fully with security officials. The UK keeps aviation security measures under constant review, in conjunction with international partners and the aviation industry,” the advisory said.

The FCO said terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in the Philippines, including Manila.

“Terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and the intent to carry out attacks at any time and anywhere in the country, including in places visited by foreigners, like airports, shopping malls, public transport, including the metro system, and places of worship,” it said. 

“You should remain vigilant at all times and report anything suspicious to local authorities.”

This developed as the European Union and Japan expressed their sympathies to the victims of the Cotabato bombing.

EU Ambassador Franz Jessen said the “EU stands together with the Philippine government in its efforts to make the country more peaceful and safer.”

“On the first day of the New Year my thoughts and prayers go to the victims, their families and loved ones, of the bombing in Cotabato yesterday,” Jessen said.

Jessen, who frequently visits Cotabato, said he is impressed by the progress made by the city government as well as its commitment to EU counterparts to build a better future for the region.

UK TRAVEL ADVISORY
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