Canada has joined other countries that have alerted their citizens to possible terror threats in the Philippines.
In its travel advisory, Canada urged its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution due to threats of terrorism and high level of crime in the Philippines.
Earlier, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom warned their nationals of possible kidnapping or terror attacks in Mindanao and some parts of the Visayas, especially Cebu and Bohol.
Last Tuesday, soldiers pounced on a group of Abu Sayyaf terrorists on three boats along the riverside in a remote barangay in Inabanga, Bohol. The ensuing clash left six terrorists and four soldiers and policemen dead.
“There is no nationwide advisory in effect for the Philippines. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to the threat of terrorism and the high level of crime,” the advisory said.
In the advisory, Canada cited deadly bomb explosions in public areas in the cities of Cotabato, Davao, General Santos, Isabela, Jolo, Kidapawan and Zamboanga.
New Zealand warned its citizens of threat of terrorist activity throughout the Philippines.
A number of terrorist attacks have been conducted in the past and a significant number of plots have been disrupted, it said in its travel advisory.
“We continue to receive reports that terrorists aspire to conduct attacks in the Philippines. The possibility of future attacks cannot be discounted, particularly in the Mindanao, but attacks could occur anywhere and at any time,” the advisory said.
New Zealand cited the travel advisory of the US Embassy in Manila issued last Sunday after it received unsubstantiated yet credible information that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings in Central Visayas, including Cebu and Bohol.
The United Kingdom urged its citizens to be vigilant, citing a “high threat” of terrorism throughout the country, especially in Mindanao and parts of the Visayas.
In its travel advisory, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against all travel to western Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups.
Australia, for its part, urged its citizens traveling to or already in the Philippines to exercise a high degree of caution due to likelihood of terrorist attack.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Eduardo Año said intelligence information shared with foreign allies were the bases of the travel advisories issued by the US, Australia and Canada.