Año: No basis for PH being in US list of high-risk countries
MANILA, Philippines — There’s no basis for the US Department of State to include the Philippines in the list of countries considered to pose a high risk of being kidnapped.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año issued this statement on Saturday as he questioned why the country was included in the list.
According to Año, it’s evident that the number of kidnappings in the Philippines has continued to decrease in recent years.
“A list is just a list. What we have are factual data pointing to the decreasing number of kidnapping cases in the Philippines. That’s what we are banking on,” Año said. “We do not know yet how they came up with the list but with the strong stance of President Rodrigo Duterte against criminality in general, we see no basis for including us in this list. We will request from the US Embassy what were the parameters used since even Malaysia and Russia were included.”
Last April 9, the Department of State included the Philippines among 35 countries where US citizens are considered at high risk of being kidnapped.
The list advises Americans not to travel to the following:
- The Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping
- Marawi City in Mindanao due to terrorism and civil unrest.
And it advises Americans to reconsider travel in other areas of Mindanao due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.
Despite this, the Philippine National Police assured the public that peace and order in the country are under control.
Following are the other countries in the list:
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Papua New Guinea
- South Sudan
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Ukraine (Russian-controlled east)
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