Amid travel warning, AFP assures safety of Americans in PH
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday assured Americans in the country that they have nothing to worry about their safety amid a travel advisory issued by the United States Embassy in Manila warning its citizens to be careful in going to Central Visayas due to kidnapping threats.
Military spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said the military had always employed security measures against threats from local and international terror groups.
“The AFP, in support of the PNP, is committed to ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of people residing in or sojourning in the Philippines- whether Filipinos or nationals of other countries. We have instituted measures and proactive steps to toward that direction,” Arevalo said in a statement.
“Arrests have been made of people with links or possibly connected to local or international terrorist organizations. We have been successful so far in warding off security threats without announcing the meritorious results,” he added.
The US Embassy in Manila on Sunday warned its citizens to be careful in going to Central Visayas, citing “unsubstantiated yet credible information” that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct abductions there. Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Monday also confirmed the existence of terror threats, citing information from the regional director of the Police Regional Office in Region VIII.
Arevalo said the AFP respects the right and mandate of the US government or any other country to issue such advisory and protect its citizens.
“They have the obligation to protect their citizens by issuing advisories to their citizens that they ‘should be mindful of the importance of taking preventative measures to ensure their safety and security while traveling and residing in the Philippines,” he said.
“To further this objective, the AFP will actively collaborate with its American counterparts, and those from other countries when warranted, to address any security concerns,” Arevalo added. JE/rga
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