There is a good reason why I do not travel abroad. One of the reasons is that there are plenty of great things to see here in our own country.
Another is that when you travel to another country you are subject to their laws, and if there laws mean that they can take away your rights without notice….I’m not gonna go there. The United States of America has issued an urgent warning to its citizens to take precautionary measures while in the Philippines, following attacks by the rebel group Maute in Marawi City.
Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Mindanao Security Situation: The U.S. Embassy cautions U.S. citizens that there is an ongoing conflict between terrorist groups and Philippine Security Forces in Marawi City, Mindanao. Media reports suggest that there are multiple dead and injured.
On May 23, 2017, the Philippine government declared martial law throughout the Mindanao region for 60 days. The Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been placed on high alert.
The U.S. Embassy has temporarily suspended Mission personnel travel to Mindanao pending a better understanding of the threat environment. While the U.S. Embassy has no information that the events in Marawi City represent a direct threat to U.S. citizens or U.S. interests in the Philippines, we encourage U.S. citizens to review personal security plans, avoid large crowds and gatherings, and remain vigilant at all times.
The U.S. Embassy wishes to remind U.S. citizens of the most recent Worldwide Caution, dated March 6, 2017, which indicates there is an ongoing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. 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.
U.S. citizens should be mindful of the importance of taking preventative measures to ensure their safety and security while traveling and residing in the Philippines.
Breitbart reports that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to expand a 60-day state of emergency in southern Mindanao to the whole country should the Maute group, a terrorist organization that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), expand its killing spree beyond the island.
Duterte, who arrived home from an abbreviated trip to Russia Wednesday, elaborated on the implications of martial law on the island. The president suspended the writ of habeas corpus and announced that police would no longer require a warrant on the island to arrest anyone suspected of being a member of the terrorist group.