• Backpacks banned in Kidapawan City


    In wake of the recent bombings in Mindanao, backpacks were ordered banned at the Cotabato provincial capitol in the capital Kidapawan City from August 26 to September 1.

    Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza disclosed this on her Facebook page and on the provincial government’s Twitter account early Saturday.

    “Please be advised that bringing of backpacks IS NOT ALLOWED inside the Provincial Capitol Compound in Amas, Kidapawan City starting August 26 to September 1,” she said in the advisory.

    Mendoza did not elaborate on why she issued the measure.

    Her advisory came two days after Australia reiterated its warning to its nationals in the Philippines against a possible new terrorist threat.

    In its travel advice Thursday, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade cited “new information” on terrorism.

    “We continue to strongly advise you not to travel to Central and Western Mindanao, including the Zamboanga Peninsula and Sulu Archipelago, due to the very high threat of terrorist attack, kidnapping, violent crime and violent clashes between armed groups,” it said.

    Australia reiterated its advice to its nationals “to reconsider your need to travel to eastern Mindanao.”

    The updated advice’s Safety and Security section reiterated “(t)errorist attacks, including bombings, are possible anytime, anywhere in the Philippines, including in Manila.”

    “We continue to receive credible reports indicating terrorists are planning attacks against a range of targets, including places frequented by foreigners,” it said.

    Last July 26, a bomb went off at a popular shopping area in Cagayan De Oro City, killing at least eight. On Aug. 5, a car bomb exploded in Cotabato City, killing at least nine. Several blasts also occurred in parts of Mindanao. PNA


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