April 5, 2010
THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES IS
TRANSMITTING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION THROUGH THE EMBASSY
WARDEN SYSTEM AS A PUBLIC SERVICE TO AMERICAN CITIZENS IN THE
PHILIPPINES. PLEASE DISSEMINATE THIS MESSAGE TO ALL U.S.
CITIZENS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION OR NEIGHBORHOOD. THANK YOU.
The State Department warns U.S. citizens
of the risks of travel to the southern Philippine islands of
Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, and urges extreme caution
if traveling there. Sporadic violence throughout the
Philippines is also possible before and after the May 10
national and local elections and the June 30 inaugurations.
This replaces the Travel Warning dated September 17, 2009, to
reflect continuing threats due to terrorist and insurgent
activities, as well as possible concerns about election
Travelers should exercise extreme
caution if traveling in the central and western portions of
the island of Mindanao, as well as in the islands of the Sulu
Archipelago. Regional terrorist groups have carried out
bombings resulting in injuries and death. Since August 2008,
sporadic clashes have occurred between lawless groups and the
Philippine Armed Forces in the Mindanao provinces of North
Cotabato, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte, as well as the
Kidnap-for-ransom gangs are active
throughout the Philippines and have targeted foreigners. U.S.
Government employees must seek special permission for travel
to Mindanao or the Sulu Archipelago. Travelers to these areas
should remain vigilant and avoid congregating in public
areas. Some foreigners who reside in or visit Mindanao and
the Sulu Archipelago hire their own security.
The Philippine government declared a
state of emergency on November 24, 2009, for the two provinces
of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat, as well as Cotabato City,
as a result of election-related violence. This state of
emergency is still in effect. Travelers should be aware of
heightened police activity and significant military presence
in these areas. They should carefully research restrictions
imposed upon travel and follow the instructions of government
officials with regard to limitations on movement.
U.S. citizens traveling, living, and
working throughout the Philippines are urged to exercise
heightened caution in public gathering places where events may
occur in relation to the May 2010 Philippine elections and
June inauguration. In past election years, deaths have
occurred because of election-related violence, even in the
period of time following election dates and inauguration
ceremonies. U.S. citizens should exercise caution when
traveling in the vicinity of demonstrations since they can
turn confrontational and possibly escalate to violence.
The Department of State remains
concerned about the continuing threat of terrorist actions and
violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the
The Worldwide Caution reminds U.S. citizens that terrorism
can occur anywhere.
The Department strongly encourages U.S.
citizens in the Philippines to register with the Consular
Section of the U.S. Embassy in Manila through the
State Departmentís travel registration website. The U.S.
Embassy is located at: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila,
Philippines, the 24-hour telephone number is 63-2-301-2000.
The American Citizens Services (ACS) sectionís fax number is
63-2-301-2017 and the
ACS web page can be accessed online.
For information on general crime and
security issues, U.S. citizens should also consult the
Department of Stateís Country Specific Information for the
Philippines and the Worldwide Caution, located at the
Department of Stateís
Bureau of Consular Affairs website. U.S. citizens may
also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by
calling 1-888-407-4747 from the United States and Canada, or
202-501-4444 from overseas.
The American Legion
Allen "Pop" Reeves
Phil-AM Post 123
370 Batangas Street
Mt. View, Angeles City, Philippines
July 29, 2009
The Department of State has issued this Worldwide Caution to update information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against American citizens and interests throughout the world. In some countries, the worldwide recession has contributed to political and economic instability and social unrest. American citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated February 2, 2009 to provide updated information on security threats and terrorist activities worldwide.
The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. Americans are reminded that demonstrations and rioting can occur with little or no warning. Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings. The July 17 bombing of the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia, where at least nine people were killed and six Americans were among the 50 or more injured; the February 2009 kidnapping of an American UNHCR official in Pakistan; the kidnapping of four European tourists in January on the Mali-Niger border; the kidnapping of two Canadian diplomats in Niger in December 2008; and the kidnapping of NGO workers along the Kenya-Somali border in July 2009 all illustrate the continuing desire of extremists to strike Western targets and perceived interests.
Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests. Examples of such targets include high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and locales where Americans gather in large numbers, including during holidays. Terrorists attacked two hotels, a railway station, restaurant, hospital, and other locations frequented by Westerners in Mumbai, India, on November 26, 2008. Over 170 persons are believed to have been killed, including six Americans, and hundreds were injured. On September 20, 2008, terrorists bombed the Islamabad Marriott Hotel killing two U.S. Department of Defense employees and one Department of State contractor. One private American sustained minor injuries. A July 9, 2008, terrorist attack on Turkish police guarding the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey, killed three police officers and wounded other police personnel. The March 15, 2008, bombing of an Italian restaurant in Islamabad, Pakistan, injured several Americans.
Americans are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems. Bombs exploded near city buses in Tripoli, Lebanon, on August 13 and September 29, 2008, killing twenty-one people. Other incidents include multiple anti-personnel mine detonations on passenger buses in June 2008 in Sri Lanka, multiple terrorist attacks on trains in India in 2006, the July 2005 London Underground bombings, and the March 2004 train attacks in Madrid. Extremists also may select aviation and maritime services as possible targets, such as the August 2006 plot against aircraft in London, or the December 2006 bomb at Madrid's Barajas International Airport. In June 2007, a vehicle was driven into the main terminal at Glasgow International Airport and burst into flames, but the bomb failed to detonate.