Malacañang assured that the police and the military are always on alert after the US State Department updated travel advisories for 35 countries, including the Philippines, indicating the risk of kidnapping and hostage-taking.
“Well, iyong PNP naman natin at saka lahat ng military palagi silang on alert; mayroon silang mga intelligence surveillance (The Philippine National Police and military are always on alert; they have intelligence surveillance),” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“Pero somehow, may makakalusot at makakalusot (But somehow, it still keeps happening). It happens to every country,” he added.
The advisories came days after American tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott and her tour guide were abducted and eventually rescued in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.
Travel advisories have also been issued for the following high-threat countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine (in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine), Venezuela, and Yemen.
Panelo, meanwhile, described as an “isolated incident” the report on the kidnapping of businessman Allan Fajardo and his bodyguard Ricky Atienza in a restaurant of a hotel in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.
“That’s an isolated incident. There must be a determined kidnapper,” Panelo said.
On the release of travel advisories, the defense department said that it is always the prerogative of countries to warn their citizens from traveling to areas they deem unsafe. (PNA)
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