Emergency Message For U.s. Citizens: Violence Near Zamboanga City, Mindanao

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Emergency Message to U.S. Citizens
U.S. Embassy, Manila, Philippines
September 9, 2013
Violence Near Zamboanga City, Mindanao


The U.S. Embassy in Manila advises U.S. citizens against any travel to the Zamboanga region due to ongoing clashes between Philippine security forces and armed insurgents of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).   MNLF insurgents have been engaged in battle with Philippine security forces in Barangays Rio Hondo, Sta. Barbara, Sta. Catalina, Tetuan, Talon-Talon, and Mariki in Zamboanga City since early morning, September 9, 2013.  The Zamboanga City airport is currently closed. We have no information at this time whether the clashes will expand to neighboring areas, nor how long they may continue.

The Embassy has heard no reports of violence in neighboring Basilan province, but urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution and remain vigilant regarding their personal security situation.
U.S. citizens in the Zamboanga City area should shelter in place to avoid becoming involved in the fighting or should follow any instructions from local authorities regarding evacuation.
The Embassy urges all U.S. citizens to postpone any travel to the Zamboanga peninsula area at this time. The Embassy strongly reiterates its recommendation that U.S. citizens exercise extreme caution when travelling to Mindanao and to keep personal safety and security in mind during any stay in Mindanao. 
For more information on security conditions in Mindanao, please refer to the July 5, 2013 Travel Warning for the Philippines that is posted on our web site,
The Embassy wishes to remind all U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and maintain an appropriate level of personal security in all circumstances by reviewing your personal safety plans; remaining aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitoring local news sources for updates.


The Embassy is located at 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines and is open 0730-1600, Monday through Friday.  The Embassy's main telephone number is (632) 301-2000.  American citizens needing to speak to the Embassy can dial this number and ask to be connected to the American Citizen Services (ACS) unit or with the Embassy Duty Officer (for calls outside of normal business hours).  You can also contact the ACS unit through email at ACSInfoManila@state.gov or through the Embassy Facebook page.  Please visit our website for information on all services offered by the ACS unit.


We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens travelling to or residing in the Philippines enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) program.  Registering gives you access to updated information on travel and security within the Philippines and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact you in case of emergency.  If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly at the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.

You can also stay up to date by bookmarking the Department of State's website, which contains all current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, as well as the current Worldwide Caution.  Please consult the Country Specific Information on the Philippines, for general information about the Philippines. For additional information, refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad" on the State Department's website. 


Contact the U.S. Embassy for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  You can also stay up to date by "following" us on Twitter and "liking" the Bureau of Consular Affairs on FacebookYou can also download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and the Android market, to have travel information at your fingertips.



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I believe that this is 'timed' and will get worse. The government made a huge error in making a settlement with the MILF extremists and not the MNLF extremists  As it stands now, the government is 'giving' 75% of the mineral rights profits to the MLIF extremists for doing nothing more than 'behaving'. As I understand the agreement, the MILF group was to 'control' the MNLF and other groups... I guess that is not working out too well.


So this sets the standards of play. Logic tells the MNLF extremists  that they have to act out and become a greater threat to the government so they will get their own deal.


This in turn also emboldens the other extremists terrorist groups into also wanting FREE MONEY so in the future they too will act out. It will never end.    


* Nothing in the post is designed to offend any of the invisible group, the 'moderates' who simply want to live in peace and harmony with the world. * 


However, logic then dictates that if the 'moderates' living on Mindanao, mostly under the poverty level will see the extremists getting free money and their kids see this sooooooo, it raises the choice to their kids. Stay a moderate and poor, or join the extremists groups and be less poor! 


The above warning from the US government included that the local airport is CLOSED which makes it hard for foreigners to get out of the country and may further up the risk if the foreigner tries to drive out of the area or take public transportation.


The warning also includes a part about US citizens from becoming involved in the fighting.


Lastly, since the MILF group has caused / forced the government to 'blink', the future is actually less uncertain now for Mindanao in the coming years. The question is just how violent do they have to get before the government giver them more and more and more control?

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Why can I see this escalating even more now with this news? This is really going to put a dent in our December plans to travel by land and sea from Davao to Manila. So much for the idea of "Roadside Antiquing" :dance:




Duterte: Misuari welcome in Davao
by Vina Araneta, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao
Posted at 09/09/2013 10:50 PM | Updated as of 09/09/2013 10:50 PM

DAVAO - The gates of Davao City are open for Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari amid the standoff in Zamboanga City, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said Monday.


Duterte talked to Misuari on the phone Monday amid the violence in Zamboanga, where 4 people have been killed by MNLF rebels, who have taken at least 150 others hostage.

Duterte said Misuari, who has declared independence of some Mindanao areas, can come to Davao.

"As a friend, I was expressing my concern, he mentioned about the impending talk with the DILG," he said. "I am against violence."


Duterte has also called on MNLF members in Davao to help prevent an outbreak of violence in the city.

He met with police and military officers on Monday to ensure security in Davao.


Duterte was earlier quoted by local daily Sun.Star Davao as supporting Misuari's idea of a "Bangsamoro Republik" that will cover the whole Mindanao, including Palawan and Sabah.


"Wala akong problema. I can work under a Muslim leader," he said. "Ang gusto ko lang it is fair to everybody. Kasi pag hindi fair, ako ang magrerebelde."


Duterte said Misuari is a long-time friend.


"I said I support his legitimate stance. We may not understand with each other yung framework kung hanggang saan, but the fact that he has adopted a stand pursuing legitimate aspiration, it’s something which I support," the mayor said.


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Off thestandard.com/hk so it is getting international press attention. While not helping the tourism industry it also is not helping as it bolsters the MNLF who think they are more important than they are. The manilastandatdtoday.com  is quoting the MNLF as saying they are moving in an additional 25,000 muslim fighters to try to 'take' the city government buildings. Zambo town as it is called has 98 barangays of which now 5 are under control of the terrorists.



  BreakingNews_world.gifTerror grips Philippine city, six slain
(09-09 19:07)

Philippine troops were locked in a standoff with hundreds of Muslim gunmen who killed six people and took at least 20 hostages in the south on Monday in a bid to derail peace talks.
Armored troops surrounded the southern port city of Zamboanga after between 200 and 300 Moro National Liberation Front gunmen entered six coastal villages on its outskirts before dawn, the military said.
“We want an independent Mindanao,'' one of the gunmen, Asamin Hussin, told local ABS-CBN television, referring to the southern third of the country.
The attack came as the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which split from MNLF in 1978, prepared to resume peace talks.
The city of nearly one million people woke to loud pre-dawn explosions as security forces exchanged fire with the gunmen, who were still holding their ground as night fell.
Heavily armed soldiers and police streamed into the streets firing machine guns at the rebels, sending terrified residents running from their homes clutching small children and scant belongings, ABS-CBN footage showed.
Zamboanga mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said two military men and four civilians had been killed, 24 people were wounded, and 1,500 others fled their homes.—AFP
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I had flight plans to go to that hell hole on business with Metrobank, I guess I'll either have to close the account or move it somehow. Moving it sounds like a wiser choice for now

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