BY A CORRESPONDENT
March 8, 2007: The government of Canada has warned
its citizens to be wary of attacks by the New People’s
Army (NPA) and against travel to Mindanao in the
In its travel advisory updated on March 9, 2007, the
Canadian embassy in Manila, capital of the Philippines,
also reiterated its warning against attending political
rallies in the run-up to the May 14, 2007, elections.
“Attacks continue to occur in Manila, the region of
Mindanao, and other areas where insurgent groups are
active. You are advised against all travel to Mindanao,
including the Sulu Archipelago and the Zamboanga
Peninsula, unless you have critical or compelling
business or family reasons. There is a threat of a
terrorist attack, which could occur at anytime in this
region,” the Canadian embassy said in its updated travel
“In the run-up to the mid-term elections May 14, 2007,
the frequency and size of political rallies, protests,
and demonstrations are expected to increase, as is the
potential for violence. Canadians are advised to avoid
large public gatherings,” the travel advisory warns.
The Philippines government recently stepped up attacks
on the NPA, which it accuses of extorting protection
money and permit-to-campaign money from candidates
running in the May 14 polls. It had also passed an
anti-terrorism law a few days ago.
The travel advisory for Mindanao was first issued in
January 2007, after a bomb exploded near a market in
General Santos City, causing several deaths and
Two more explosions had occurred in Kidapawan City and
Cotabato City, also resulting in injuries to several
“Continuing reports suggest that there is an ongoing
terrorist threat to Westerners and Western interests in
the Philippines. The Philippine authorities have warned
that there may be bomb attacks in Manila and other key
cities. Visitors can expect to be subject to frequent
security checks at public and private facilities,
including shopping malls and public transportation,”
according to the travel advisory.
It said “attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in
Bombings and crime-related shootings have rocked
Mindanao, Manila and other parts of the Philippines.
Explosive devices continue to be unearthed by security
The advisory asks all Canadians in the Philippines to be
vigilant and comply with all security procedures.
Anything suspicious should be reported immediately to
the nearest security authority, it added.
Canadians are also asked to be alert to the danger of
kidnapping in the Philippines.
“Though government action has reduced the frequency,
there remain reports of planned kidnap-for-ransom of
business people. Kidnappings have occurred throughout
the country, including in Manila and several resort
areas, and deaths have resulted in some cases. Canadians
should be cautious when travelling to, and around,
coastal areas and island resorts,” the Canadian
embassy’s advisory adds.