United Kingdom travel threat warning normal, ordinary –– Department of National Defense

January 02, 2019
Police officers investigate at the site of an explosion
Police officers investigate at the site of an explosion outside a shopping mall in Cotabato City on the southern island of Mindanao on December 31, 2018. Two people were killed and at least 32 others wounded on December 31 after a bomb went off outside a shopping mall in the southern Philippine city of Cotabato, police said. / AFP

NORMAL and ordinary.

This is how the Department of National Defense ( DND) perceived the travel advisory issued by the United Kingdom to their citizens regarding the alleged threat in Mindanao  following the  New Year’s  Eve bombing  at a shopping mall  in Cotobato City that killed two persons and injured several others.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana explained that the British advisory is an automatic and default warning of the UK government to their citizens.

“Like we also do when these things happen in other countries, it is normal and ordinary. We hear about these advisories all the time,” Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana also stressed that there is no indication that there will be other bombings in the area.

“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to Western and Central and the Sulu Archipelago because of terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent group,” the UK travel advisory stated.

The British government reminded their citizens to remain vigilant  at all times because terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and the intent to carry out attacks at any time  and anywhere in the country including places visited by foreigners like airports, shopping malls, public transport including the metro system and places of worship.

For his part, Philippine Army 6th Infantry Division Commander Major General. Cirilito Sobejana said threats in areas like Central Mindanao are normal. Every now and then there is a threat of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion.

But they guarantee that with or without a terror attack threat they are always on guard and ready to protect the life of everyone.

“Actually, dito sa central Mindanao, naging normal na lang yung threat kasi every now and then merong threat of IED explosion pero kami naman with or without threat talagang  we are always on guard,” he said.

Sobejana said there are places in the area that are safe to visit like Davao, Cagayan de Oro and General Santos.

He said government troops are strictly guarding areas that are most frequented by the public.