Tourists assured that the Philippines is safe

The Philippine government assured on Thursday that the Philippines is “definitely safe” despite travel advisories by foreign governments warning their citizens of terrorist activity in the country, according to a report of The Manila Times Online on Friday.

The assurance from presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella came as the amilitary announced the release of at least 16 Abu Sayyaf bandits, despite their involvement in heinous crimes because of the absence of warrants for their arrest.

Abella said local and foreign tourists should not worry as security forces were running after the ASG bandits.

Last week, government security forces clashed with the bandits in Barangay Napo, Bohol, an island known for white sand beaches and the “Chocolate Hills”. Abella was confident that the clash would not discourage tourist arrivals in the country.

The presidential spokesman clarified President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest pronouncement that civilians in Bohol could take up arms to combat the bandits, saying it was merely “dramatics” aimed at beefing up security in the province,

He said there was no official government policy allowing civilians to take up arms to defend themselves.