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Americans warned: Stay away from south Cebu

CEBU CITY—The US Embassy in Manila has advised its citizens to avoid going to southern Cebu because of the risk of being kidnapped.

But the advisory caught Cebu officials by surprise, saying they had not received any reports of terrorist threats in their areas.

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The advisory, titled “Security message for US Citizens: Risk of Kidnapping in Southern Cebu” was posted on the embassy’s website about 11 a.m. on Thursday.

“Terrorists groups are planning to conduct kidnapping in areas frequented by foreigners on the southern portion of Cebu Island, specifically the areas around Dalaguete, Santander, to include Sumilon Island;located off mainland Oslob town,” the advisory said.

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Extremist targets

The advisory also reminded its citizens of a Department of State Worldwide Caution issued on Sept. 13, 2016 which mentioned threats of terrorist actions and violence against US citizens and interests abroad, including the Philippines.

“Extremists have targeted sporting events, theaters, markets, mass transportation systems—including airlines, and other public venues where large crowds gather. Crowded nightclubs, shopping malls, buses and popular restaurants have also been targets.

“The Embassy reminds US citizens of the importance of taking preventive measures to ensure their safety and security while traveling and residing in the Philippines,” said the US embassy advisory.

Mayors surprised

Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante of Dalaguete and Marilyn Wenceslao of Santander towns were surprised by the embassy’s alert status although they admitted receiving “raw information” that some groups planned to do harm in some southern parts of Cebu.

But they believed the intelligence report earlier received was not connected to the US advisory.

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Wenceslao said she received a text message from a police intelligence officer that some groups planned to hold kidnapping activities in his town as well as Dalaguete and Sumilon Island which were frequented by tourists./rga

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TAGS: Americans, Cebu, Kidnappings, Sumilon Island, US citizens, US embassy
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