Philippines violence

This item appears on page 17 of the February 2017 issue.

The US Department of State warns travelers planning to visit certain areas of the Philippines of the risk of kidnapping and insurgent violence.

Terrorist and insurgent groups based in the Sulu Archipelago in the country’s southwest have kidnapped foreigners in the southern Sulu Sea area. This area stretches from the southern tip of Palawan, in Sabah, Malaysia, across the Philippine islands of the Sulu Archipelago and up to Zamboanga City, Mindanao Province. Since January 2016, at least 13 separate kidnappings of foreigners have been reported across Mindanao. In western Mindanao, terrorist, insurgent and criminal gangs regularly conduct kidnappings for ransom. 

In September 2016, a terrorist group conducted a bombing in Davao City, Mindanao, killing 15 people and wounding 69 others.  Following the attack, the Philippine government declared a “State of National Emergency on Account of Lawless Violence in Mindanao.”