After US Travel Warning, PNP Steps Up Security in Cebu Province

Philippines beefs up security measures after United States warned their citizens against traveling to southern Cebu.

The Malacañan confirmed that police have stepped up security after the U.S. embassy warned its citizens to refrain from traveling to southern Cebu.

Cebu is an island popular for diving and racy nightlife and far from the Islamist group’s stronghold in the south.

In its travel advisory on Thursday, the US said there is an existing terror threat against Americans overseas.


The U.S. Embassy in Manila, in a statement, 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.

According to reports, the travel advisory was issued in response of US to comments made to media by regional police that said six Abu Sayyaf rebels were in Cebu.

In a press conference on Friday, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said authorities were still trying to confirm the media report but the Philippine National Police were taking it seriously and beefing up security measures, including at public venues where crowds gather.

“The PNP commanders at various levels have taken the necessary steps to harden or protect possible targets,” Abella said.

Earlier, the embassy also reminded all U.S. citizens about the warning of the State Department in September regarding an alleged terror threat against Americans overseas, including the Philippines.

It advised it’s better to avoid busy places since extremists 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.

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