12. April 2003

Canadians should not travel to the Sulu archipelago (Basilan, Jolo/Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi) and the following provinces/cities on Mindanao:

a) Maguindanao;
b) North Cotabato;
c) Lanao del Sur;
d) Lanao del Norte, including Iligan City;
e) Sultan Kudarat, including the municipality of Palembang;
f) South Cotabato Province, including General Santos City;
g) Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga City;
h) Zamboanga del Norte; and
i) Davao City and rural areas adjacent to Davao City.

Kidnapping incidents have occurred in Mindanao and other regions since April 2000. The Abu Sayyaf group has attacked and kidnapped tourists at resorts on Samal Island, Davao del Norte, Palawan Island, and in the Malaysian state of Sabah. Several people were held hostage and deaths resulted. A Canadian was kidnapped in Davao del Sur in November 2001 and held hostage for seven weeks. Some gangs have used extreme violence and have targeted business individuals and visitors throughout the Philippines, including metro Manila and Makati, the business and entertainment district. Several foreigners were abducted and robbed at gunpoint by men in security uniforms at a well-known tourist hotel in Pagsanjan, Laguna, in southern Luzon in April 2002. Seven new kidnapping incidents were reported in September 2002. All were kidnap-for-ransom cases.

Random bombings continue to occur in Mindanao, Manila, and other areas where insurgent groups are active. Bombs have exploded in shopping malls, on public transportation, at the international airport in Manila, places of worship, and in other public areas, some resulting in injuries and deaths. Several bombings have occurred recently in Zamboanga, including the Fort Pilar Christian shrine and outside a restaurant-videoke bar in Barangay Malagutay, near Zamboanga City. Eight explosive devices were discovered in Metro Manila in March 2002, including Makati. A bomb exploded on a passenger bus in Quezon City, Manila, on October 20, 2002. Two people were killed and 20 were injured.

There have been two attacks on foreigners in the Mount Pinatubo area, the most recent in January 2002, resulting in one death. Canadians travelling in this area should exercise extreme caution. The Santa Juliana route in Capas, Tarlac, is considered safe. However, trekkers should avoid the Porac and Sapang Bato routes in Pampanga, which are unguarded and considered unsafe.

Canadians travelling throughout the Philippines should be vigilant and maintain a high level of security awareness due to the continuous threat of kidnappings, bombings and other violent incidents. Security arrangements at resorts, particularly beach resorts, should be carefully reviewed. Canadians should comply with all security procedures. Anything suspicious should be reported immediately to the nearest security authority. Contact the Canadian Embassy in Manila for updated security information prior to departure.

Canadians arriving from areas affected by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) - such as Canada (Toronto), Vietnam (Hanoi), Singapore, Taiwan, and the People's Republic of China including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - may be subject to medical screening. Persons with symptoms of SARS must undergo further medical examinations and, if necessary, go into quarantine.

For specific information on entry procedures, you should check with the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines.

Heightened tensions as a result of the Iraq situation, together with increased threats globally from terrorism, put Canadians at greater risk. Canadians should maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times as the security situation could deteriorate rapidly without notice. Exercise extreme caution, particularly in commercial, public and tourist areas frequented by foreigners. Canadians should monitor local developments, avoid crowds and demonstrations, as well as register and remain in regular contact with the Canadian Embassy in Manila or the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (call collect 613-996-8885).
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade



10. April 2003

Une forme de pneumopathie atypique: SRAS s'est développée à partir de plusieurs pays d'Asie principalement au Vietnam et dans le sud de la Chine.

Les dernières informations et conseils concernant cette maladie sont disponibles en consultant le site du ministère de la Santé ou en appelant le numéro vert suivant : 0800 150 160
Ministère Français des Affaires Étrangères



 4.  April 2003

You should remain vigilant throughout the Philippines for spontaneous crime driven by poverty, and for serious crime including terrorism and kidnapping, by organised gangs or extremists. We believe there is a greater risk of terrorist activity throughout the Philippines at the present time. You should not travel to central, southern and western Mindanao or to Basilan or the Sulu archipelago. You should also avoid non-essential travel to the rest of Mindanao and take particular care throughout Palawan and at all coastal resorts. You should be aware of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in East and South East Asia. Developments on Iraq and any increase in regional tension could lead us to further strengthen our travel advice. You should check it daily and follow developments closely.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office London



7. März 2003

This Public Announcement has been revised to update information on security in the Philippines, particularly on Mindanao. It supersedes the Public Announcement issued January 10, 2003, and expires on September 4, 2003.

The terrorist threat to Americans in the Philippines remains high. In view of a number of security-related incidents and the possibility of future terrorism, kidnappings, and other violence or criminal activity, Americans traveling to or residing in the Philippines are urged to exercise great caution and maintain heightened security awareness. Extremist groups present in Southeast Asia, such as Jemaah Islamiyah, have demonstrated transnational capabilities to carry out attacks against locations where Westerners congregate. Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets.

On March 4, 2003, a bomb exploded at the international airport in Davao, Mindanao, killing at least 20 people, including one American, and injuring over 140 others. Another bomb exploded shortly thereafter in Tagum, the capital of Davao del Norte Province in Mindanao, injuring several people. These incidents follow a bombing outside the Cotabato City Airport on February 20, killing at least one person and injuring twenty others. The Government of the Philippines condemned these bombings as acts of terrorism. During October 2002, at least 20 people were killed, including one American soldier, and more than 100 people were injured in various bombing attacks in Zamboanga City and the surrounding area, and in Kidapawan, Cotabato Province. Similar explosions occurred in December 2002. Other explosive devices have been discovered and defused prior to detonation in these and other areas of Mindanao.

U.S. citizens are urged to defer non-emergency travel to the island of Mindanao due to recurring bombing incidents and other violence and criminal activity. U.S. citizens should avoid all travel to the islands of Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and Jolo, located in the Sulu archipelago in the extreme southwest of the Philippines due to kidnappings and other criminal activity. Americans residing in Mindanao and in the Sulu archipelago should carefully review their security posture, take appropriate action to secure their well-being, and remain in close contact with the Embassy for current information. As a precaution, the U.S. Government has restricted travel by official personnel to these areas.

A number of bomb-related incidents have also occurred in Metro Manila. On October 18, 2002, an explosion on a bus killed three and injured numerous others. Earlier that same day, a hand grenade exploded at a main intersection in the Makati commercial area and another unexploded grenade was found in the same vicinity. On October 16, 2002, a bomb was discovered and dismantled inside a passenger bus on the regular route from Manila to Laguna Province. The U.S. Embassy urges Americans to avoid crowds and crowded places, including nightclubs and bars, and to exercise special caution in public places, such as shopping malls, or when using public transportation.

The terrorist New People's Army (NPA), the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, operates throughout the Philippines and has issued public threats against U.S. citizens and interests in the Philippines. In January 2002, an American tourist was shot and killed by an unidentified gunman on the slopes of Mt. Pinatubo in Pampanga Province, an area known for NPA activity. Americans are warned to avoid hiking or camping in this area and are advised to exercise caution when traveling elsewhere in the Philippines, due to armed clashes between the New People's Army and government troops in some areas.

Extortionists have kidnapped several Filipinos and foreigners, including three American children. Kidnappers operating in Metro Manila and throughout the Philippines have snatched family members of prominent local business leaders and politicians for financial gain, to make a political statement, or as part of business, land, or personal disputes.

The terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has issued public threats against U.S. citizens and interests in the Philippines. The Abu Sayyaf Group has taken hostage a number of Filipinos, Americans and foreign tourists since April 2000. Several were freed after substantial ransoms were paid, some escaped or were rescued by military action, and some were killed. In 2002, one American hostage was killed and another injured during a rescue operation after spending more than a year in captivity. Because Abu Sayyaf has demonstrated its ability to travel long distances by boat to kidnap foreigners, it is possible that other locations in the Philippines could be attacked. Accordingly, Americans should defer travel to isolated beach resorts in the southern portion of the Philippines.

U.S. citizens living in or visiting the Philippines are encouraged to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy, located at 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila City; tel. (63-2) 523-1001.

Bureau of Consular Affairs of the United States of America




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