u.s.envoy.assures

    AMBASSADOR THOMAS

 

MANILA — United States Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. said the U.S. will continue to review its travel advisory on the Philippines for the safety and security of its nationals.

“As regards the travel warning we review it every six months,” Thomas told the Philippine Star in a chance interview at the Smokey Mountain Little League baseball tournament at the “Field of Dreams” in Tondo, Manila.

President Benigno Aquino III chided the U.S. for voicing concern over the review of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) but did not officially alert him of supposed terror threats used to justify travel warnings to its citizens in the Philippines.

The Philippines was recently the subject of travel advisories from the U.S., United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and Australia that warned against travel to the country after an alleged “cargo bomb” bound for the U.S. was foiled.

The Philippines sought clarification from the concerned governments on the travel advisories.

“I can’t speak for others, but my job is to protect the safety and security of Americans and on any given day we have between 250,000 and 350,000 Americans in the Philippines, so that’s why it’s the number one job and we work very closely with the national police to ensure that,” Thomas said.

The Philippines strongly urged members of the United Nations Security Council to take a “balanced” approach in the international campaign against terrorism and called on governments to “exercise due care and diligence” in issuing travel advisories.