Manila explosion prompts alert

MANILA, 8 May 2017: Two explosions in the Quaipo area of Manila were reported during the early evening of Saturday 6 May prompting a new round of travel advisories.

The UK government travel advisory said reports indicate a number of fatalities and serious casualties.

It warns visitors to avoid the area of Quaipo.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also advises against all travel to western Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of terrorist activity and clashes between military and insurgent groups.

It advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao and to the south of Cebu province, up to and including the municipalities of Dalaguete and Badian, due to the threat of terrorism.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the Philippines. Attacks could happen anywhere, including in places visited by foreigners, like airports, shopping malls, public transport and places of worship.

There has been an increase in the kidnapping of foreign nationals, including attacks targeting foreigners and tourists since late 2015. Multiple attacks occurred in November 2016.

Terrorist groups continue to plan kidnap operations against western nationals in the Philippines. This threat extends throughout the Philippines, both on land and at sea, but is particularly acute in the southern Philippines (Mindanao, southern Palawan and central Visayas, including Siquijor and Dumaguete).

On 9 April, the US Embassy in Manila advised US citizens that it had received “unsubstantiated yet credible information that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings in Central Visayas, which includes both Cebu and Bohol provinces”. You should be especially vigilant in these areas.

On 11 and 12 April 2017, Philippine authorities clashed with heavily armed individuals in Inabanga, Bohol, resulting in fatalities.

The advisory warns of a high incidence of street crime and robbery throughout the Philippines.

In response, the Philippines government has declared a ‘state of national emergency to tackle lawless violence’. This results in heightened security at airports and other major transport hubs.