Avoid southern Cebu amid terror threat, U.S. tells citizens

Kimberly Jane Tan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 03 2016 09:18 PM

The U.S. government on Thursday warned its citizens against traveling to southern Cebu, saying there is an existing terror threat against Americans overseas.

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Manila alerted its citizens about an alleged plan by terrorist groups to kidnap foreigners in southern Cebu, specifically Dalaguete and Santander.

"U.S. citizens should avoid travel to these areas and are reminded to review personal security plans; remain aware of their surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates," it said. 

"Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security," it added.

The embassy likewise reminded all U.S. citizens about a State Department warning in September on an alleged terror threat against Americans overseas, including the Philippines.

It warned against extremists who may target crowded venues such as buses, markets, theaters, airlines, nightclubs, popular restaurants, sporting events, shopping malls, and mass transportation systems.

"The embassy reminds U.S. citizens of the importance of taking preventative measures to ensure their safety and security while traveling and residing in the Philippines‎," it said.

In its September advisory, the U.S. said there is a "risk of travel" to southern Philippines because of kidnapping threats in Sulu and the ongoing violence threat in central Mindanao.

The warning came following President Rodrigo Duterte's repeated tirades against the U.S., which he resents for calling him out on alleged human rights abuses in his war against illegal drugs.

During his recent state visit to China, Duterte even announced his "separation" from the Western superpower.