Kidnapping sees Canada warn against Philippines travel

An advisory against travel to Philippines by Canada comes as army, navy and police attempt to apprehend gang who kidnapped three foreigners and a Filipina from southern resort

Kidnapping sees Canada warn against Philippines travel

World Bulletin / News Desk

Canada has advised its nationals not to venture to some areas of the Philippines, three days after four people -- including two Canadians -- were abducted from a coastal resort.

A local government chief executive has said he believes the Abu Sayyaf was behind the kidnapping of the three foreigners and a Filipina, and not an armed communist group as first reported; however, President Benigno Aquino III has said that reports suggest the kidnappers are from a new armed group in the south.

Thursday's Goverment of Canada travel warning -- headlined "kidnapping on Samal Island, Davao del Norte" -- said citizens "should exercise a high degree of caution due to an ongoing terrorist threat to Westerners and Western interests".

"If you are visiting or living in this region despite this advisory, review your security situation regularly and take appropriate precautions, particularly when visiting places frequented by foreigners," it added.

Aside from the recent incident, it said that "several foreigners" had also been kidnapped in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

"There is a serious risk of terrorist attacks and kidnappings in this region. Bombs causing deaths and injuries have exploded in public areas of major centers, including the cities of Cotabato, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Kidapawan, Zamboanga, General Santos, Jolo and Isabela," it said.

"Clashes occur between insurgent groups, and between armed groups and security forces. These incidents often result in deaths and property destruction, and innocent bystanders have occasionally been taken hostage."

It said that the threat of terrorist activities exists throughout the country, including in major cities.

The Norwegian and two Canadians -- and the partner of one of them -- were abducted late Monday after a number of armed men aboard a motorboat arrived at the Ocean View Resort on Samal Island before going door-to-door and snatching the occupants.

On Thursday, The Inquirer reported police as saying that the gunmen had slipped past a naval cordon and escaped to remote mountains in Davao Oriental province, on the southeastern portion of Mindanao.

It added that hundreds of policemen, elite army troops and navy patrol boats were scouring the coasts of three provinces on the rim of the Davao Gulf.

It quoted Davao Oriental police chief Senior Supt. Joseph Sepulcre as saying, however, that there had been “no breakthrough” in the case.

With the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit taking place in Manila in November, the Philippines government has sought to appease any safety fears following the abduction.

“The Philippines is committed to hosting a successful APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting by implementing security measures that would ensure the safety of all APEC Leaders, delegates and guests,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Eylül 2015, 10:50