DFA urges Filipinos abroad to remain vigilant amid series of terror attacks

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) called on Filipinos outside the country to remain vigilant, following the recent series of terror attacks abroad.

In a statement released Tuesday, August 15, Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano encouraged Filipinos overseas remain prepared against unforeseen “senseless acts of violence.”

According to the DFA, there are more than 10 million Filipinos outside the country.

Citing data from the Global Terrorism Database, the department made note of around 1,102 terror incidents that occurred worldwide from January to August of this year, not far from the 1,204 terror attacks that were perpetrated during the same period last year.

“We want our kababayans wherever they are abroad to always remain vigilant and to always be prepared because these senseless acts of violence can happen anywhere and when we least expect them,” Cayetano said.

The department issued the warning days after a foiled attack conducted by suspected Islamic militants at a restaurant located in the capital of Burkina Faso.

Cayetano also used the opportunity to send his condolences to the families of victims of the August 13 attack, which resulted to the deaths of 18 people, including foreigners.

“We mourn with the families of those who lost their lives in this terrible incident in Burkina Faso,” he said.

Also on Tuesday, the DFA issued Alert Level 1, or the precautionary phase, for Filipinos in Guam and the Northern Marianas islands after North Korea threatened to launch missile attacks in the area.

DFA said Alert Level 1 means “the situation is still developing and that Filipino nationals are encouraged to closely monitor the news from reliable media outlets and official advisories from the Government of Guam, and other U.S. authorities, as well as the Philippine Consulate General in Guam.”

Cayetano likewise ordered all Philippine embassies abroad and consulates general to update their contingency plans to secure the safety of Filipinos.

“Our people all over the world are counting on us to lead them to safety in case worse comes to worst,” the foreign secretary said. “It is thus important to make sure that all our contingency plans are regularly reviewed and updated.”

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