Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 27) — The United Kingdom (UK) has warned its citizens about travelling to western and central Mindanao, as well as the Sulu archipelago, due to “terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups.”
In an advisory posted Sunday, UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) specifically advised British nationals to avoid travelling to Mindanao–excluding Camiguin, Dinagat and Siargao Islands–as well as the south of Cebu–including the municipalities of Dalaguete and Badian–because of a “threat of terrorism.”
The FCO cited the bombing attacks in a Catholic church in Jolo, Sulu that killed at least 18 people and injured over 100 others. The incident happened days after the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and amid the implementation of martial law in the region.
READ: Death toll in Jolo blasts lowered to 18
It urged its citizens to “remain vigilant at all times and report anything suspicious to the local authorities.”
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the Philippines, including in Manila. 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 in places visited by foreigners, like airports, shopping malls, public transport, including the metro system, and places of worship,” it said.
The FCO also called on British nationals to follow the advice of loacl authorities as the Philippines gears up for the upcoming elections.
“It’s not uncommon to see increases in election related violence in the run up to elections. You should keep up to date with local activity and avoid demonstrations or large gatherings of people,” it said.