Australia to nationals on extended martial law in Mindanao: Monitor media reporting

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Monitor media reporting and follow the instructions of local authorities.

These are among the pointers given by Australia to its nationals in the Philippines, following the extension of martial law in Mindanao.

In a Jan. 10 update to its travel advice on the Philippines, Australia noted the Philippine Congress voted to extend martial law in Mindanao until Dec. 31.

“Measures imposed under martial law may include the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, curfews and establishment of checkpoints,” it said.

Because of this, it said Australians should “monitor media reporting and follow the instructions of local authorities.”

“The deterioration in security in Mindanao has resulted in a more volatile security environment in the Philippines. in 2017, there were sustained, violent clashes between government forces and militants in Marawi City, Mindanao. If you are in Marawi City, exercise heightened vigilance and review your personal security plans,” it added.

On the other hand, Australia reiterated its advise to its nationals to “exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines overall.”

“Reconsider your need to travel to eastern Mindanao, and do not travel to central and western Mindanao, due to very high levels of violent crime, high threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping,” it said.

“Be alert to possible threats around locations that have a low level of protective security and places known to be possible terrorist targets. Possible targets for terrorist attacks include commercial and public places frequented by foreigners, such as transport hubs, the metro system, hotels, shopping malls, clubs restaurants, bars, schools, markets, places of worship, outdoor recreation events and tourist areas,” it added.