The Australian government has renewed its advisory warning its citizens from traveling to certain parts of the country, particularly in Mindanao and Cebu. The advisory warned that “Davao City may be a particular target” of terrorist attacks.
“The attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in Mindanao, including during the period 9-16 January which includes the Asean and East Asian Summits,” the advisory said. “Davao City may be a particular target.”
While it said that attacks is likely as well in other areas such as Manila and Cebu, there was emphasis on areas in Mindanao where “possible targets include places of worship, restaurants, shopping malls including Mega Malls, hotels, hostels, guesthouses, bars or clubs in major population centres, including but not limited to Davao City, Carmen, Isulan, Kidapawan, Cagayan de Oro City, General Santos City, Cotabato City, Maganoy and Pagadian.”
The advisory said Australian citizens in these areas should “consider leaving.”
(For more on travel advisories — are they credible? what should you do?, etc. — click here and here.)
Australia was one of the five countries that issued similar warnings in December, forcing the Arroyo administration to postpone the Asean Summit, although the official reason was an approaching typhoon.
Below is the advisory:
This advice has been reviewed and reissued. It contains new information in the Summary and under Safety and Security: Terrorism (update). The overall level of the advice has not changed.
* We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines because of the high threat of terrorist attack. We continue to receive credible reports that terrorists are planning attacks against a range of targets, including places frequented by foreigners. Some reports suggest that terrorists could target sites in Metro Manila, Mindanao including the Sulu Archipelago, and Cebu Province. If you do decide to travel, you should exercise extreme caution when you are in the Philippines.
* In February 2005 there were terrorist attacks in Manila and further attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in the Philippines. Places frequented by foreigners, such as bars, pubs, shopping malls, fast food outlets, and places of worship may be targeted for attack.
* There is a danger of kidnapping throughout the Philippines, including in Manila and around coastal and island tourist resorts throughout the country. Terrorists have kidnapped tourists from these areas.
* We strongly advise you not to travel to Cebu Province. Recent information suggests terrorists are in the final stages of planning attacks. Australians should avoid locations known to be targeted by terrorists, such as places of worship, restaurants, shopping malls, hotels, hostels, guesthouses, bars, clubs, outdoor markets and transport and associated infrastructure.