Korean Consulate warns nationals against visiting Bohol
CEBU CITY — The Korean Consulate in Cebu has issued a special travel advisory, urging their nationals to cancel or postpone their trips to Bohol from April 13 to 23.
“Judging that public insecurity caused by the infiltration of terrorist group could continue for some time in the Island of Bohol, the venue of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit from April 18 until 22, the Foreign Ministry has made the move to protect nationals of the Republic of Korea there,” read the advisory.
It was referring to the group of suspected members of Abu Sayyaf who entered a remote village in Inabanga town in Bohol last week to allegedly conduct terror activities in nearby islands.
Their presence was reported by the residents to the police who then coordinated with the military. A joint team from the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines was sent and engaged the bandit group in a firefight that lasted for 24 hours.
Four suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf, three soldiers, one policeman and two civilians –husband and wife in their 60s – were killed during the gun-battle and a series of airstrikes.
The military are still hunting down eight others including Joselito Milloria, a native of Napo who escorted the bandit group during their entry to the village.
The temporary special travel advisory was tantamount to a travel restriction although the consulate clarified that it was only recommendatory in nature.
It may not be compulsory, but the advisory urged Koreans to cancel or postpone their plans to visit Bohol, or to already leave the area “unless there are urgent matters to attend to.”
“The MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Korean Consulate in Cebu will continue monitoring the security situation in the aforementioned area in the Philippines and then mull over whether the special travel advisory should remain in place,” the advisory further read. KS
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