3 more countries join US in issuing security alerts
MANILA, Philippines—Britain, Canada and Australia joined the United States on Saturday in issuing security alerts to their citizens in the Philippines, particularly in Metro Manila, after the US Embassy warned of a threat against Americans.
The warnings called on their nationals in the metropolis to be alert and exercise extreme caution amid fears they could get caught up in any attacks on Americans.
“Any attack could be indiscriminate and we advise British nationals to exercise particular caution and extra vigilance in places frequented by expatriates and foreign nationals,” the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth Office advised British citizens.
On Friday, the US Embassy in Manila issued a security alert to its nationals in Metro Manila after “reliable security forces” detected an unspecified threat to Americans, particularly in the Pasay City area, where the embassy maintains a residential facility and a veterans affairs office.
The US Embassy advised US citizens to avoid gatherings that may be regarded as “American events.”
Australia and Canada echoed the US warning, citing the US Embassy’s advice to its citizens.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advised Australians in the Philippines to exercise a high degree of caution because of the high threat of terrorist attack and high level of serious crime.
“Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks,” said the Australian foreign office.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada also reminded Canadians in the Philippines to “maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times and avoid any protests, demonstrations, political rallies or large gatherings as they may turn violent without notice.”
“Continuing reports suggest that there is an ongoing terrorist threat to Westerners and Western interests in the Philippines. Bomb attacks could occur at any time in Manila and other key cities. Targets could include places frequented by foreigners, such as large shopping malls and convention centers. Visitors can expect to be subject to frequent security checks at public and private facilities, including shopping malls and public transportation stations,” the security alert added.
In response to the threat, President Aquino’s spokesperson Abigail Valte said police presence had been heightened in the capital to safeguard not only Americans but also ordinary citizens.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday beefed up security in Metro Manila to thwart any possible attack. With reports from Philip Tubeza, Jaymee T. Gamil; AFP, AP