'Bato' says kidnap threat monitored in Central Visayas


Posted at Apr 10 2017 11:03 AM

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, gestures during a Senate hearing, October 2016. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

MANILA - The head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday he received reports of kidnapping threats in the Central Visayas, after the United States warned against travel to the region.

Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa said the police regional commander relayed to him that such a threat was monitored and preparations were made to counter it.

"Huwag kayong matakot. I am giving assurance to the people na ang ating mga pulis sa Central Visayas ay ready," he said.

(Don't be afraid. I am giving assurance to the people that our police in Central Visayas are ready.

The US Embassy on Sunday cited "unsubstantiated yet credible" reports of kidnappings in the area, as it urged citizens to reconsider travel plans.

Central Visayas includes the islands of Cebu, the main trading and transportation hub in the Central Philippines, and Bohol, home to popular beach resorts.

Cebu also recently hosted a meeting of Southeast Asian central bank governors and finance ministers.