Malacañang cautioned tourists against visiting places in the Philippines “where danger lurks” after a British businessman and his Filipino wife were kidnapped by at least four gunmen in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur.
“They should always take care of themselves. Avoid places where danger lurks,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo, however, said he would not ask tourists to avoid visiting Zamboanga del Sur saying the kidnapping case is just an “isolated” incident.
“Mga isolated cases na ganiyan. Minsan hindi mo rin maiwasan ‘yan (Sometimes you cannot avoid isolated cases like that),” Panelo said.
He said the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are on top of the situation.
“It’s a PNP activity, so I’m sure the PNP is doing something about it. The PNP there and the Army can take care of that place,” Panelo said.
The Palace official also rejected claims that martial law in Mindanao is useless since it failed to prevent a foreigner and his wife from being snatched.
“Well, sometimes that happens even if there’s martial law,” Panelo said.
Without martial law, Panelo said there could even be more kidnapping cases in the area.
Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017 after violent extremists belonging to the Maute group attacked and seized Marawi City.
Reports showed that Allan Hyrons, 70, and his wife Wilma were seized at their property — Hyrons Beach Resort.
Zamboanga police said 2 of the suspects reportedly checked in at the resort, pointed a gun at them, and dragged them to the other side of the beach were motorized boats were waiting.
To date, no group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. (PNA)