• DFA warns Filipinos amid Thailand clashes

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    No Filipino has been affected in the recent clashes during the preelection period in Bangkok, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Sunday.

    Raul Hernandez, Foreign Affairs spokesperson, said that although the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok continues to monitor the deteriorating political situation in the country, no Filipino has been adversely affected by the protests aimed at toppling the administration of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

    “Nevertheless, we advise all our kababayans in Bangkok and those on essential travel there to exercise vigilance and take extra precautions,” Hernandez said.

    “They are advised to monitor the news, avoid large crowds, and avoid inadvertent demonstration of partisanship,” he added.

    Reports came out on Saturday that a protester was shot dead while two others were wounded when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a protester’s camp ahead of the candidates’ registration for the February 2 snap elections, where Yingluck is expected to win.

    Political tension erupted in November when former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who has been in self-imposed exile following his conviction in a corruption case, spearheaded violent protests in Bangkok.

    The protests are primarily aimed against Thaksin’s considerable influence on Thailand’s political fabric that stemmed from the elite’s and the educated middle class’ apprehensions over the leader’s power among the rural poor.

    While the military has kept their hands off the protests, political analysts are adamant that military intervention can spell disaster as they have already staged 11 successful coups, the last one against Thaksin in 2006.

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