By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Oct. 13, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO – The US Embassy issued an advisory last week to all nationals traveling to the Philippines after the capture of three terror suspects.
The suspects, who have links to terrorist organizations, allegedly plotted to bomb targets in Metro Manila.
In a security message for US citizens in the Philippines, the Embassy “wishes to remind all US citizens to remain vigilant and maintain an appropriate level of personal security in all circumstances by reviewing your personal security plans; remaining aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitoring local news sources for updates.”
Philippine officials say they are on top of the situation.
Filipino-American travelers at San Francisco International Airport had different reactions when informed about the travel advisory.
“No, I don’t think it worries me,” said Ronnie Habacon. “I think it’s good that they caught the people, but being a Filipino-American and just being a Filipino, period, I feel that I’m safe every time I go to the country. I travel three times a year and I never feel that I’m in danger.”
“There’s been alerts in the Philippines forever, and I don’t anticipate any problems,” said John Berthelsein. “If they caught three guys, that’s good.”
“I don’t think I’ll be worried because I know our government will take care of that,” said Raligh Poblete. “I have trust in our government.”
However, not everyone felt safe about flying.
“I’m going to change it because it’s scary of course,” said Evelyn Sanchez. “I feel that since 9/11, it’s not really safe anymore. You don’t know those people [that] there may be terrorists of those passengers. You can’t tell if it’s safe or unsafe.”
According to media reports, one of the suspects is a member of the Raha Solaiman Movement and was also a suspect in the 2003 bombing of the Awang Airport in Maguindanao.
However, the Philippine National Police said it is taking every warning seriously but assures there is no specific terror threat to Metro Manila.