Malacañang on Sunday said it respects the right of the United States (US) government to issue a travel advisory in the southern part of the country.
In a radio interview, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the travel warning applies only to US nationals and not to Filipinos.
“That travel advisory is not for us but for US nationals. It is the right of every country to issue advisories to their citizens for their protection],” Coloma said.
“At kinikilala din naman natin na ang kanilang mga advisory ay para sa kapakanan ng kanilang mga mamamayan [And we respect this right of governments to protect their respective citizens,” he said.
During the weekend, the US State Department warned US citizens against traveling to some parts of Mindanao, including Sulu.
It cited continuing threats due to “terrorist and insurgent activities,” and asked US citizens to defer non-essential travel to Sulu.
The Palace official said that the Philippine government does not need to comment further on the issue since the advisory is for US citizens.
“The US’ advisory is for its own nationals,” he pointed out.