Canada issues Davao, ARMM travel ban in light of Samal kidnapping
DAVAO CITY – The Canadian government has advised Canadians against traveling to the Davao region and nearby areas, including the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao due to what it said was “serious threat of terrorist attacks and kidnapping.”
However, in an advisory posted on its website, the Canadian government said it has no nationwide advisory for the Philippines.
“However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to an ongoing terrorist threat to Westerners and Western interests,” it said.
The advisory cited, among other reasons, the abduction of three foreigners in Island Garden City of Samal on Monday for the travel ban. Two of the victims, John Ridsdel, a former mining executive and Robert Hall, were Canadians. The third foreign victim, Kjartan Sekkingstad, was Norwegian.
“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,” the advisory read.
In banning travel to other Mindanao provinces such as those in the ARMM and western and central Mindanao, the Canadian government said the “threat of terrorist activities exists throughout the country, including in major cities.”
“Bombings, shootings and kidnappings have occurred on public transportation, at airports, in shopping malls and in other public areas. Foreigners and places frequented by foreigners have been targeted. Explosive devices continue to be discovered by security authorities,” it said.
The advisory also urged Canadian citizens in these areas to “be vigilant and comply with all security procedures.”
“Expect to be subject to frequent security checks at public and private facilities, including shopping malls and public transportation stations,” the advisory added.
They should also avoid “travel outside urban areas and tourist [centers] after dark,” according to the advisory. Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao/CDG
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