Terrorism in the Philippines: places you should avoid

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While most of the Philippines is friendly and beautiful, there are areas that are unsafe. Of course you want to stay safe, so take a quick look through this list of places to avoid, and make your visit to The Philippines safe and fun.

Military Risk

The military is an ever-present force in the Philippines, due mainly to the high risk of terrorism. Even when a ceasefire has been called, violence could flare up again at any moment, without warning. So, regardless of the current state of affairs during your stay, it‘s best to avoid these areas altogether.


Terrorism is perhaps the biggest threat to tourist safety in the Philippines and continues to be an increasing and ongoing problem.

The whole of the far south is a no-go zone: The areas of Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago and the Zamboanga Peninsula are all considered extremely dangerous and travelers are advised not to go there. The terrorist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been blamed for a numerous violent incidents, kidnapping, and frequent clashes with the Filipino security forces.

Spinoff terrorist groups, like the Abu Sayyaf Group and Jema‘ah Islamiyah, have broken away from MILF and are particularly dangerous. They are responsible for bombings which have resulted in property damage, injury and death. The more rural areas of the country, including the island of Luzon to the north, should be avoided as they have seen increased presence of the terrorist organization The New People‘s Army (NPA).

Over the past few years, terrorist acts involving explosive devices in North Cotabato Province, Basilan, Isabela City, Jolo, Cotabato City, Makati and the Zamboanga airport have collectively resulted in the deaths of 41 people and severe injury to well over a hundred others. Most of these bombings took place on public transportation, such as buses, and in crowded locations like restaurants and cathedrals.

The unpredictability of terrorist acts makes them that much more dangerous, so the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to steer clear of the locations where they are more likely to occur.

Kidnap Risk to Travellers

The risk of kidnap is especially hazardous for tourists because the terror groups target foreigners for the high profile publicity - and the high ransom they can obtain from relatively wealthy families. Thankfully, these crimes are not widespread. The following locations carry a higher risk of kidnapping and should be avoided:

  • Sarangani Province
  • North Cotabato Province
  • South Cotabato Province
  • General Santos City
  • Sultan Kudarat Province
  • Lanao del Sur Province
  • Lanao del Norte Province
  • Iligan City
  • Pangutaran Island

Additionally, several foreigners have been captured in Zamboanga City, Pagadian City, Patikul and Jolo in recent years.

The victims range from Philippines nationals to Red Cross workers to television crews. An Irish priest and a wildlife photographer are among other kidnap victims proving that anyone could potentially be at risk if they are traveling within these danger zones.

Again, like terrorism, kidnappings are difficult to predict and therefore can be challenging to avoid. Your best bet is to travel in groups and stay away from areas that have seen an increase in recent kidnapping incidents. There are plenty of beautiful locations within the Philippines to see and explore without having to venture into these troubled places.

Is The Philippines Danegrous?

As a whole, the Philippines is a lovely place to visit with minimal risk of crime or danger. There are, however, locations within the country in which the risk of harm to foreigners is heightened and therefore should be avoided. Just know what areas to avoid and stick to the places that are not as dangerous and you will be able to experience the beauty of the Philippines without incident.


  • Alton Barbour said

    I have been to the Philippines many times. I have a two and half years old son there. He is in Aurora. The most problem I have had is with money changers trying to rip me off. They assume a foreigner is afraid. I kicked a money changers ass and his accomplices ass right in the street in Malate. The people there applauded me and even the police just laughed. A vender gave me pork on a stick. I have been to many places on Luzon, Cebu, Mindanao and Negros Occidental. Every now and then a taxi will try to get over on you. But just stand firm and you will be O.K. I love going to the Philippines and I like the excitement of going where you're suppose not to go. Kidnap me, I have a lesson to teach you. Randy Barbour

  • Stephane said

    A guy I know told me he went in Zamboanga. There was a bunch of teenagers who were running after him with knives and machetes. I`m not making that up. Avoid Zamboanga at many cost.

  • zamboanga said

    zamboanga is a safe place, I don't understand why people kept on saying that zamboanga is not safe place to go? have you been here?

  • shan said

    Zamboanga is a safe place indeed when talking about kidnaping and other dangerous stuffs, Just because of a siege the reputation had been damaged. Zamboanga City is a really beautiful place to live in. It is known as the City of Flowers. And there are many wonderful spots here. It hurts in the part of every Zamboanguenos that people are advicing the tourists not to visit here. MNLF are to be avoided and not Zamboanga City.. This City is innocent. just stating though #AribaZamboanga

  • Craig T. Jacob said

    There are no safe places on this rock we call earth . Having said that , use common sense and always be aware of your surroundings . If your to scared go out in your back yard and find a rock to crawl under. Because the terrorist won. There is one thing I know for sure none of us are getting out alive so relax and enjoy the ride. Its not like you can stop this rock and get off anyway.right.

  • Bob said

    I have been to Iligan city 8 times and will be there again in a month and have never had any problems. I have always been treated like gold. just keep your wits about you and be careful and keep someone that lives there close to you and you will be fine. It's a lot more dangerous in the big cities of the US then it is in Iligan. just my humble experienced opinion.

  • Joshua P said

    Is it really any more dangerous than any major city in the US or Great Britain?
    I have walked around streets and city centers of places like London, Manchester and Liverpool and I have witnessed some bad shit going on.

  • said

    Hi traveling to Philippines in two weeks. Supposed to go to Pagadian city. Is it dangerous there. I will be meeting a resident in manila and traveling to Pagadian. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Moonshine said

    Follow your countries guidelines do not go chasing girls in the south as you will have future problems the kidnappers have lookouts in the city and province looking for high wealth individuals and they do not know your skint and you can get kidnapped and a the drop of a hat Abu Sayf have you on a boat to Sulu. If your looking for a girl say on the dating sites find one in Bohol or further North not Mindanao. If your going on holiday go to Boracay it is safer and beautiful white sand take your new friend their.

  • Fred said

    I am moving full time to Mindanao, a small village not far from Dipolog, I have been there many times and NEVER had any problems at all. Matter of fact people are far more friendly than my home now in Miami Florida.
    I love to take road trips and would like to drive all over Mindanao. Where are the places I should avoid?
    My wife is Filipino and will always be with me.
    thanks in advance

  • Darcy said

    Hello, me and my friend (two 22 year old girls) are looking to travel around the philappines this summer. Just wanted to know if it is safe and places to really avoid. Wanted to go to Manila, Palawan, mindora and Luzon. Thanks

  • sulta kudarat local said

    please avoid Zamboanga,Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato.In Maguindanao,the safest places for foreigners to enjoy our beaches are Davao city(enjoy Samal Island), Cagayan de Oro city and from Cagayan de Oro go to Camiguin Island by boat(30 mins trip).I want to highly recommend Boracay(1.White beach-nightlife/bars/resto, 2. Bulabog beach-watersports, 3.Puka beach-quiet,peaceful atmosphere).Then Palawan(you can choose Coron,El Nido ,or Puerto Princesa).You can also check Cebu and you can take a ferry from Cebu to Bohol..You can also go to Puerto Galera,Mindoro(choose Sabang for diving/watersports,or Whitebeach for bars/resto.In Manila go to JAM busliner located at Taft Buendia cost P170 up to Batangas pier. Batangas pier to Puerto Galera pier is P250 plus environmental fee P100. If you will choose Father & Sons ferry,they have a free shuttle/van waiting in Puerto Galera pier to bring you in Whitebeach.
    My husband is foreigner.I never gamble his safety.We just stay in Davao and asked my family from Sultan Kudarat to travel in Davao to get together and have a good time

  • Chris said

    Darcy you will be fine. Try not to stay in Manila too long as there are too many other places to see. Palawan, Mindoro and Luzon are all beautiful. Try traveling the Zambales coastline and also head up to Baguio and the Ifugao terraces.

    Dude Olongapo is safe - just be respectful to the locals and learn some tagalog! Maybe just stay off Suzuki Beach, Barretto after dark

    Ingat kayo

  • pangasinan to davao said

    davao city is safe to foreigners if your looking for beaches davao city is the place, baguio city and pangasinan also are safe places to go...

  • John said

    Try to include Dahilayan Bukidnon if you have in your itinerary places like Cagayan De Oro or Davao. Dahilayan has an EcoFarm a very relaxing place for everybody and also those with their families, a safe haven away from the busy cities...

  • Kev said

    I have been Travelling regularly to Mindanao for the last 7 years and have never had any problems. Just use common sense and avoid known trouble spots. I have spent time at all the usual places and some not so usual including Camiguin,Bohol,Siargao Island, Siquijor,Davao etc.
    On my next trip I have been invited to the General Santos area by a very good friend.Normally I would jump at the chance of visiting somewhere new but in view of the recent problems in that area even I am a little wary of the trip.Any advice from locals there would be appreciated

  • Danielle Jaramilla said

    San fernando la union or san juan la union( REALLY close by each other) Is a very nice, peaceful place to travel to and it's also VERY safe! The beach is an awesome place to unwind and watch the
    sunset! Poro Point is a great place to stay at, while there! CSI is the main shopping/grocery mall there. San Juan is a foreigner hit spot! It is the surfing capital of the Philippines! I'm actually born and half raised there! I was 7 when I moved to the U.S from san fernando la union! Many foreigners have enjoyed there stay in la union! Great, trustworthy, honest people!!! Many came back safe and sound!! My family is planning to go this summer! Excited for it!! :-D

  • Morten said

    I have been to Philippines numerous times and never been in trouble. I have visitied Manila (spend 2 days before returning home for shopping but dont vaste time there), Cebu area, Bohol, Puerto Galera, Palawan mostly not too far from Puerto Princesa, Dumaguete and Mindanao - mostly on the Zamboanga area from Ozamis, Tambulig, Molave, Dipolog - and of corse Boracay.
    I follow a few just common simple rules: I dont get too drunk, do not draw attention to yourself, if you feel something is spooky then follow your gut feeling, respect other people, do not do around alone but get along with people you know, if trouble then walk away.
    I love the Philippines and return yearly. Just use common sense and stay away from Basilan and Cotabato area. Enjoy your travel and keep on smiling even after you have returned home!

  • Leah said

    Hi,im from davao im proud to say thats its very safe there,u can even walk in the middle of the night without worrying something might happen to you,im here in cebu right now and i can say that its still dangerous here especially at night,all i can say davao is the best.

  • Clash said

    Dumaguete is such a peaceful city. Although there's not much anything to do but when you stroll around the city, you the most iconic sceneries. The people are really friendly, just respect the local and you'll be good. I promise it's one of the best cities of PH. Not to mention it's a desirable city for senior citizens. Thanks for reading Mate.

  • Jovi Carino said

    I went to Olongapo City and came across a black american who was working as news man and he set up gun shots to be fired for black pride. I think his name is Donnel, he is short black American born working as news reporter or news crewman. I'm not sure what channel perhaps 7 news.
    I'm trying to find his name in order to put a restraining order against him. He might be of American Black Panthers . I am afraid of him and afraid to visit Olongpo City Subic again I am white.
    Can you help me out.?

  • REAL LIFE KFR said

    Warren Richard Rodwell (born June 16, 1958 [62] Homebush NSW) [63] a former soldier [64] in the Australian Army, and university English teacher,[65] grew up in Tamworth NSW [66] He was shot through the right hand when seized [67] from his home at Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines on December 5, 2011 [68] by Abu Sayyaf (ASG) militants.[69] Rodwell later had to have a finger amputated.[70]

    The ASG threatened to behead Rodwell [71] if the original ransom demand for $US2 million was not paid.[72] Both the Philippine and Australian governments had strict policies of refusing to pay ransoms.[73] Australia formed a multi-agency task force to assist the Philippine authorities, and liaise with Rodwell's family.[74] A news blackout was imposed.[75] Filipino politicians helped negotiate the release.[76] After the payment of $AUD94,000 [77] for "board and lodging" expenses [78] by his siblings, Rodwell was released 472 days later on March 23, 2013.[79] The incumbent Australian prime minister praised the Philippines government for securing Rodwell's release. Tribute was also made to Australian officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Australian Federal Police and Defence.[80] Rodwell subsequently returned to Australia.[81]

    As part of the 2015 Australia Day Honours, Australian Army Lieutenant Colonel Paul Joseph Barta was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) for outstanding devotion to duty as the Assistant Defence Attaché Manila during the Australian whole of government response to the Rodwell kidnap for ransom (and immediately following, the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan). At the 2015 Australian Federal Police Foundation Day award ceremony in Canberra, fourteen AFP members received the Commissioners’ Group Citation for Conspicuous Conduct for their work in support of the Philippine National Police and Australian Government efforts to release Australian man Warren Rodwell.[82]

    By the end of his 15 months as a hostage in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Rodwell had lost about 30 kilograms in weight due to starvation,[83] His biography 472 Days Captive of the Abu Sayyaf - The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell by independent researcher Dr Robert (Bob) East was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, United Kingdom (2015) ISBN 1-4438-7058-7 [84]

    In January 2015, Mindanao Examiner newspaper reported the arrest of Barahama Ali [85] kidnap gang sub-leaders linked to the kidnapping of Warren Rodwell, who was seized by at least 5 gunmen (disguised as policemen), and eventually handed over or sold by the kidnappers to the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan province.[86]

    In May 2015, ex-Philippine National Police (PNP) officer Jun A. Malban was arrested in Kota Kinabalu Malaysia for the crime of "Kidnapping for Ransom" after Rodwell identified him as the negotiator/spokesperson of the Abu Sayyaf Group during his captivity. Further PNP investigation revealed that Malban is the cousin of Abu Sayyaf leaders Khair Mundos and Borhan Mundos. The director of the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) stated that Malban's arrest resulted from close coordination by the PNP, National Bureau of Investigation (Philippines) and Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission with the Malaysian counterparts and through Interpol.[87]

  • Eugenie said


    Ologapo City is safe. Further north in Iba along the South China Sea is safe and magnificent country. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Iba for two years, 2006-2008. I traveled by bus to Olongapo often for staff meetings. Subic is safe. Use common sense anywhere in the world. Be polite and respectful, like you'd want to be treated. Of course, there are disreputable people anywhere. But most people in the Philippines are friendly and like Americans. When I was there i was in my fifties, white, female working on business start-up and building water systems, usually traveled alone for work. Although culturally women usually travel, at a minimum, in pairs. A word to the wise.

    Our State Department suggests avoiding Mindanao because of political/military concerns.

  • ChuckUSA said

    How about Baguio city, I might take a trip there and Cebu City too. How about bribes I hear about in the Philippines ? Thanks in advance

  • said

    the Philippines is a beautiful place. Personally I wouldn't go any where near the south. Don't flash your cash and jewellery all over the place. Smile be nice and you will be fine. Everyone says hello and smiles. Hard to keep up with them all but good to try. Never smiled so much in my life. I bought a lot on a golf course in lipa batangas and will hopefully be building my house next year to retire early to the sun. Enjoy be nice. Smile a bit now and then. You will love it.

  • Carl said

    One other thing. Be polite hey might be smaller than you but they are nice till you piss them off. Then you better walk away quick. I was there for 6 months last year and didn't want to come back. People are great. Made God knows how many new friends. They are amazing people. Haggle for a fair price. But remember they have to eat too. They will charge you double or treble if they get the chance tho to be fair lol. Half it and you are ok I found. Or if you have a Philippine gf. Get her to pay. It's a lot easier

  • Carl said

    they all will think you are a millionaire. And compared to most of them you might as well be. Some of them have a little money some have a lot. But most live day to day scraping a living however they can. A few peso is nothing to us but could mean the difference between eating that day to them. I love the place and the people. Just be wary. Keep your wits about you all the time. It's easier to give a few peso instead of saying no to some beggars that are quite persistent when they see a white face

  • DPK said

    I'd say foreigners can be in danger in certain situations in the Phils, but also in certain areas. The Ermita-Malate area of Manila is a cesspool and not safe. The provinces are better but well, keep in mind that the Phils allows private gun ownership.

  • JM said

    Filipina born and raised in the U.S. My dad who was a privilege child, was born in Tagaytay. BEAUTIFUL. The views are amazing. It's like New York City mixed with ocean views, the streets of Paris all that luxurious stuff. It's kind of pricey there. It's basically a big ass spa. Worth it, this is where all the famous go. Everyone is friendly. But my dad moved to Makati City and it's also beautiful. They are safe to go to since they are the places in the Philippines with more money, it's the more luxury spots of the Philippines. I had no troubles when I was there and trust me, they can smell foriegners. But if you are looking for more artsy adventures, my mom was raised in Luzon. Beautiful mountains. Such open space. People there are so down to earth. It's the province side of the Philippines and I also love it. My cousins live in Manila, and I do not like it l. I live in Jersey and it's basically Manila is the Camden of the Philippines. Nothing ever happened to me, but it felt kind of sketchy you know. If you really want to try only going their during the day. Because other then that the city is pretty cool. I only go to the Philippines for family, but I was always taught to NOT STEP FOOT IN ANY PARTS OF MINDANAO. DO NOT GO TO MINDANAO.
    My parents who are natives of the Philippines say it's very dangerous. DO NOT GO THERE.
    MINDANAO HAS A HIGH RATE OF CRIME. All natives up north know this.
    But just remember, Filipinos are suckers for corny jokes. Be wise with your money. Other than that, I really recommend Tagaytay, Makati City and Luzon!!! Always ask a native. Lol I've been reading and showing comments on here to natives of the Philippines... they suprise them!

  • RJ said

    well, my family originally from caribbean islands but i have live in the usa most of my life. i have been to the philippines many times over the years beginning in 1998. and have continue to visit phils from time to time over the years 2001, 2004, and 2006, 2011, & recently 2014. each time i went to visit different places (i.e. manila, cebu, ormoc, iloilo, isabela, davao, bagiuo, and mindanao).

    i have never once had a problem anywhere i went, but once being law-enforcement im always very cautious of my surroundings. during my travels i have met many foreigners, even in places where they were warned to avoid...lol. i have very serious question but i guess most people dont to talk about race. my question is "TO ANYONE" are there certain countries, or races that are more likely to get kidnapped then others??

  • Carl said

    i think you just need to be aware of your surroundings and be a little bit careful. Don't be flash and attract attention to yourself. You will get enough attention for just been a foreigner. Every one will want to talk to you. They are nice people just don't piss them off. You will regret it. I have spent a lot of time there in the last few years and I love it. And one day I will move there for good. Kidnapping is rare go to the best places and you will be ok. Tagaytay is absolutely fantastic and the views out of this world. And 100 % safe if you are a good boy lol

  • Noah Zark said

    Alton Barbour is an Idiot. I am an American living in Cebu for 28 years. This guy beat up money changers in the street? And the police laughed. Bull shit. Why would you use money changers in the street anyway? The whole story is ludicrous. And a vendor gave him pork on a stick! Yeah right. These folks are like folks anywhere else. They will protect their own. In a heartbeat. And daring somebody to Kidnap him? Ha ha ha. So go where they do it pal, and then tell us about the lesson you taught them. I have watched many many cowboys come over here thinking they are superman, and I've seen them stabbed with bbq sticks, knives, shot, and even beaten to death. Are you still alive Alton Barbour? You big mouthed exaggerating sack of caribou dung. We certainly don't need you here.

  • Lu Mahalo said

    I would like to travel to these three destinations in Mindanao:

    Bayugan, Agusan del Sur

    Bislig, Surigao del Sur

    Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte

    I am a Caucasian American...Is it safe?

    Or, should I limit my stay to Davao?

    If any of my choices are safe, what would be the best mode of travel?

    PS: I know the NPA just assassinated a law enforcement person in Bislig, also wounding his daughter.

    Also, I have heard that the NPA sets up roadside check points.

  • Ajron said

    Hi i will travel to philipphine in september.I will have 3weeks and i wont see and reavel much is possible. I have plan and some information and i working on it. But problem is i am alone. I work now in china and its will my holiday before i go home. If somone planing travel on this time and wont join in i will happy. sdoo@azet.sk

  • Luke said

    I am visiting Manila shortly and was going to rent a car and drive north 4 (hours north) to see a friend, some people have said its not safe! Is this true?

  • Tish said

    My brother has met a girl on the internet and is insisting on going to meet her. He is going to kabankalan in negros occidental. How safe will he be?

  • Baloch said

    Hi, I am planning to travel to the Philippines very soon, but having read about the above comments, I am feeling as if I would be going in to the war zone. Though it's true that you might encounter some bag guys who would try to snatch your bags or mobile phones or anything like that... but the best thing to avoid these situations re to be in the crowded places. Just don't go out alone after dark... and the other thing I am concern about the foods there... I would be going to Manila, Baguio and Boracay... waiting for your valued suggestions...

  • RandT said

    Daughter (Canadian)is planning to go to Leyte in October to volunteer with the 2013 typhoon rebuild project. Any advice, feedback is really welcome (specific to safety, weather, ) is appreciated!

  • Jeff said

    I am plannig to go to Manila and stay in Makati for 10 days to meet a girl. Please advise me. Should I be concerned? Can i go to my hotel by a taxi by myself? Should I be concerned with restaurant food? Any advice? I appreciate it.

  • Carl said

    if you already know this girl you should be ok. Just be careful not to flash jewelry and money and you should be fine. Relax and have some fun I was there last year and it was great

  • jas said

    Be careful meeting women/men off the web. Filipinas are known to meet a foreigner and have him set up. Generally that is from leaving a bar and going to a hotel. Then her hubby will pop out and demand his money. Never take a drink that you didnt see poured or opened the seal yourself as its common for something to be slipped in your drink and you later wake up robbed or worse assaulted. I have heard of taxis putting a sleeping agent in the air to rob foreigners as well( idk if thats true or not). Be careful at atms. Scammers wait for you to leave the atm or they have a device attached to the atm. I have been to cebu area and further south to dipolog and surrounding areas. Make sure hotel gives you a reciept when you pay. They like to charge you again(i experienced this) as well as other places. I never had any trouble. But then again just use common sense and you will be safe.

  • Jerry Day said

    I have spent a lot of time in the Philippines, mostly in Davao Del Norte.I have traveled to General Santos City, and stayed in Kiamba for several weeks.I have stayed in Manila, and also Batanags and Baguio for months at a time.I'm always with my wife or her family and never a problem.Just show respect and be kind to everyone.I don't go to bars or look for prostitutes.Be a person of good moral character and you will be respected.Make friends with the children and they and their parents will love you.So always smilie and remain humble.

  • mark said

    ive lived in philippines for 6 months when i met my future wife. i hate the place. its dodgy and dangerous and most people there are deceitful and sneaky. they befriend you so you can give them money. even the wife of a man who was kidnapped set up her own husband. hopefully i will never have to go back to that god forsaken place. and if you want to live in a nice safe place and live like a westerner it cost more than australia. so dont be fooled its cheap to live there. only if you live like a filipina and ride a polluted jeepney.

  • mel said

    Just like any big cities of the world, you need to be careful when out and about. Be street smart and avoid high risk areas, that includes dodgy bars and stay away from 'pretty women' in the bars. If they are that pretty, that means they are taken or you could be set up for worse. All these are common sense. I'm a world traveller and the worst hassles I have experienced were from the streets of Rome. If you are decent and respectful, visiting only for sights and culture, you will be spoilt for choice on places to visit. Philippines is world known for outstanding white, fine powdery type beaches in Boracay and Palawan and world heritage sites of rice terraces in Baguio and Ilocos up north of the country amongst others. When we go there to visit, we go to high end hotels/ resorts as security is heightened and facilities are obviously incomparable. It's holiday afterall.

  • charles said

    The thing to remember about the phils , especially those of us from Europe is the availability of firearms in the phils. a drunken argument in a bar in the london or berlin the worst scenario is a black eye and bruises or that you might get knifed depending on how bad the area your in. but you don't have the same ability to size up up areas and people as you wound at home or in the western parts of the world. so learn to be diplomatic and bite your tongue some times its better to walk away even if it hurts your pride. local knowledge and friends are important on nights out the can spot the danger signs long before you can,, that said , i have never had any problems in the phils. just use your brains and don't make yourself look like a target . wear a money belt . keep a small amount in your pockets. dont walk around like your lost even if you are,(walk with purpose)but most of all have fun . pinoys are lovely warm kind people who like to help the fellow human beings ,

  • james said

    I met a girl online from the Philippines.she lives in cebu and i heard cebu is a nice Christian city but it has some gangs but everything should be ok if u travel there.just stay to yourself and go meet your gf and marry her there. She will make sure u dont get lost and she will help u with anything

  • SAMAL ISLAND (Davao) KIDNAPPINGS - September 2015 said

    Davao City (CNN Philippines) — Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte confirmed on Sunday (September 27) that the four people kidnapped at the Holiday Oceanview Samal Resort on Samal Island last September 21 are now in Sulu.

    The four kidnapped victims were identified as Kjartan Sekkingstad, Norwegian operations manager of the resort; Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, and Marithes Flore, the Filipina girlfriend of Hall

    In his weekly television program Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa, Duterte said that intelligence sources confirmed the arrival of the kidnappers and their victims in Sulu.

    "They are now in Sulu," he said. "They are already there. They have entered. We have also verified from all sources and indicate that they are now in Sulu.

    Also read: Samal Island kidnapping: Mining consultant could be primary target

    "As to what is their objective here since they have not yet made any ransom demands, we will never know until such time that they will communicate with the authorities."

    He also confirmed that the Samal kidnappers are "allied with the Abu Sayyaf Group."

    On Saturday, Duterte flew to Zamboanga City to help find resolution to the kidnapping.

    He appealed to the kidnappers to release the victims the soonest possible time.

    Earlier reports showed an intelligence source indicated that "Tanum group from Patikul were the ones who forcibly took the foreigners from Samal Island."

    Tanum is a village in Patikul, Sulu that's been known as a lair of the Abu Sayyaf Group, which has been involved in several kidnappings.

    The intelligence source, as stated in a report, revealed that the kidnappers and their victims arrived aboard a white speedboat in Barangay Kaunayan in Patikul, Sulu around 12:30 p.m. of Tuesday, September 22, or roughly 13 hours after the abduction.

    Related: AFP chief mum on whether Sulu-based group is behind Samal Island kidnapping

    The intelligence report was however raw and is still subject for verification, as stated by the source.

    Asked for their reaction on Duterte's seeming confirmation that the kidnap victims are indeed in Sulu now, Chief Supt. Federico Dulay, head of the Special Investigative Task Group Oceanview, refused to confirm nor deny the suspicion.

    He said what they were focusing on now was the gathering of enough evidence so they could file charges against the kidnappers.

    "We are receiving many reports and gathering additional information for the validation of said reports. Hopefully we can gather enough evidence to support the filing of cases. We ask for your understanding, considering the sensitivity of this matter, we have to take into account the safety of the victims," Dulay said.

    Also read: Kidnappers, victims still within Eastern Mindanao - military

    Army Capt. Alberto Caber, Eastern Mindanao Command spokesperson, also did not confirm nor deny the information. He just said that, if Duterte had confirmed such, then it could be based on hard evidence.

    Based on the SITG Oceanview's latest report, the kidnappers have also taken the iPod and iPhone of a couple in the said resort but did not bring along with them when they left the resort.

    The said gadgets have SIM packs with them that could be traced by the authorities to determine their location.

  • Doc said

    I've lived in the Philippines for a total of 7 years, 5 in Or. Mindoro and now 2 in Mindanao, So Cotobato to be exact. I've been all over the Philippines and the people in Mindanao are the friendliest and most welcoming in all the Philippines IMHO. I suspect the article above used information from an old US State Dept or British Foreign Office site. Davao in southern Mindanao was recently named the safest city in the Philippines and the 4th safest IN THE WORLD. If you go there and walk around at night you'll know why. General Santos is quite safe. I've done some checking to allay the fears of friends and there are many 2nd or 3rd tier cities (population size) in the US with higher murder and violent crime rates than many areas of Mindanao including So. Cotobato. There is an area which is the Muslim area, its easy to google, I don't go there because I'm not looking for trouble. I hear some bad stuff about Zamboanga from people who live there and several who have visited so I don't go there. I have travelled all continents except Antarctica and have a traveller's eye so I'm not naive. I don't venture into areas like I used to but I must say, in the past 2 years, I haven't looked down a street or into an area that made me turn around and leave. Of course, like anywhere, you must use common sense. You are a guest in this country, behave like a guest. Don't get blind drunk in a strange place, I've seen people do it and wonder how they survive. The people are poor and you are thought to be rich so don't get angry if they charge you a bit extra; this is most common in areas with large foreign resident or tourist numbers. Remember, you're usually talking less than a dollar or euro even in the taxis in Manila. Don't act like an obnoxious rich guy, if you're not one back home you're not one here so don't act like it. Men, be wary of bargirls and street girls. They may be sweeter than a working girl back home but they're still working girls and get paid to lie. Many have drug abuse issues. Most of what I've said, you can apply to any country in the world. Bottom line, use your head, treat the people with respect and a smile, have fun.You'll go far.

  • charly said

    I want viting my girlfriend in iligan city, close to the mercy community Hospital.
    She was working for years in europe and went back to phil.
    she said iligan is sure or me and she will protecting me ^^
    I said that the abu sayyaf will like me tall blond german like hell :)
    She was laughing and said that is no problem.

    My question is now... im in danger (if im in danger there at all) only as tourist or also if im only here to visit my gf?

    I never was before in phil. I only know that the southpart (Mindanao) is well known for terrorits. jolo and so on...

  • Garry said

    Pretty much what Doc said above. Just be aware of your surroundings. I've spent many months at my wife's home town in Tagum City and in Davao City. Don't wear jewelry or watches. I keep my wallet in my front pocket. Only incident for me was my cell phone was lifted out of my back pocket at a bus station. I actually felt it happen, turned around and it was 3 young teenage girls and 4 guys walking away, looking back at me. One of the girls had a small knife in her hand, she made it quite known. The phone was a really cheap piece of junk I bought specifically for walking outside, not worth being hurt or killed over. I've been to Zamboanga and General Santos City and have always felt less comfortable - like I am far more scrutinized by the local population.

  • Ben said


    In 2010, Joel D Adriano wrote in the Asia Times, A spate of violent crimes against foreigners threatens to undermine the Philippine government's drive to lure more foreign investors, tourists and retirees. Previously, only rebel-infested areas on the southern island of Mindanao were considered high-risk, but recent assaults on foreigners have been launched in the capital Manila and other places popular with international tourists. In July 2010, US expatriate Frederick Boucher and his family were attacked by five armed men shortly after they arrived at the capital's Ninoy Aquino International Airport. They were held at gunpoint and their vehicle was forcibly stolen after the suspects repeatedly bumped into the rear of their vehicle. Police investigators believe they were likely marked by "spotters" situated at the airport working on behalf of criminal gangs. [Source: Joel D Adriano, Asia Times, August 17, 2010 |::|]

    “Other high-profile carjacking cases in July included assaults against a popular local actor, a former Philippine ambassador and a Japanese business executive from Toshiba Philippines. Still, Philippine officials bristle at the frequent depiction of the Philippines as a dangerous place for tourists and investors. In part, that's because foreigners are being singled out by Filipino gangs and syndicates. For instance, on July 22, retired US Air Force Sergeant Albert Mitchell, his wife and their three housemaids were killed in a robbery in their home in Angeles City, outside of the national capital. The suspect, Mark Dizon, was arrested on July 27. He has since been accused in the murder and robbery of two other foreigners: 60-year-old South African national Geoffrey Allan Bennun and 51-year-old Briton James Bolton Porter and their respective live-in partners. |::|

    “Officials are grappling to explain the attacks. Some sociologists attribute the crime to widely held Filipino perceptions that most foreigners, especially Caucasians, are rich. This notion is perpetuated by the media in movies and TV shows. They often view Filipinos with relatives in the US or abroad as comparatively better off. For instance, on July 19 four gunmen tailed and rammed the vehicle of a wealthy local family returning from a vacation in the US. When they stopped to inspect the damage, assailants held the family at gunpoint and shot businessman Jorge Bernas, a distant relative of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, before stealing their van. |::|

    “To be sure, some foreigners have been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Briton Charles McKerchar, 69, was recently injured during a failed assassination attempt on Sulu Governor Sakur Tan at the Zamboanga City's airport on August 5. McKerchar, who is married to a Filipino, was at the airport to retrieve an acquaintance. He is now in a serious but stable condition. Police officials suggest that most of the violence against foreigners is motivated by a get-rich-quick mentality shared by many criminal gangs and syndicates.”

    Foreigners Who Say the Crime Problem in the Philippines is Overstated

    Joel D Adriano wrote in the Asia Times, “Not are all foreigners resident in the Philippines cowering in fear. James Musslewhite, an American expat from Houston who now lives in Mindanao and writes a blog about the Philippines, thinks that despite the recent negative news many foreigners living in the Philippines still believe its safer in Manila than in most US urban areas. "I feel safer walking in many streets in the Philippines than in the US," he said. [Source: Joel D Adriano, Asia Times, August 17, 2010]

    Bob wrote in his blog myphilippinelife.com: “My wife and I feel safe living in the Philippines. Now we live in a house we built in a rural area, on a dead end road with no close neighbors. When we first moved to Iloilo City we lived in an unusually secure private compound in Iloilo City. We didn’t even have to consider security. We could leave our doors open if we want to. We have ridden jeepneys everywhere. I have literally walked more than a thousand of miles on the streets of Iloilo City and lonely rural paths in the country. I have never had the slightest problem. No one has robbed me or threatened me or tried to pick my pocket or done anything but treat me with respect and kindness. The worst crime we have been a victim of is being overcharged for shrimp in the public market. Many expats have similar experiences. [Source: myphilippinelife.com]

    Foreign Kidnapping Victims

    Japanese, Taiwanese and Chinese nationals have been the targets of kidnappings. The capture and release or two kidnappers who kidnapped a Japanese businessman in November 1986, almost set off an international incident between Japan and the Philippines.

    The ransoms paid for foreigners tend to be much more than those paid for locals. In June 2001, a Singaporean woman paid $165,745 to Filipino kidnappers to free her husband. “I was cornered into a situation where I had to make a decision for the safety of my husband,” she told a Singaporean newspaper.

    In 1996, the son of the military attaché of Taiwan's unofficial embassy was released unharmed after a ransom of $38,500 was paid. Explaining why he drive home with a flat tire, one Taiwanese businessman in Manila told AFP, “Buying a new car is much cheaper than paying ransom.”

    The foreigners don’t have to be wealthy. In 2001, the notorious “Pentagon” kidnapping gang abducted four Chinese nationals working on road project. Two were killed in a rescue attempt. One escaped. The other was freed with the assistance of the Libyan government.

    In 2010, Joel D Adriano wrote in the Asia Times, “Foreign kidnappings are also on the rise. On April 4, Swiss businessman Carl Reith was kidnapped from his beach home in Zamboanga on Mindanao island. He was rescued by the police two months later in a raid that killed one of the suspects. On April 11, Salvacion Gorenio, an American national, was kidnapped near her house in Cavite, a province just outside Metro Manila. After nearly a month in captivity she was rescued by the police in an operation that killed all three suspects. In July, Japanese national Amir Katayama Mamaito, a treasure hunter who operated a local pharmacy, was kidnapped in southern Sulu province. He is still being held at an unknown location. [Source: Joel D Adriano, Asia Times, August 17, 2010]

    According to Pete Troillo, director of business intelligence at Pacific Strategies and Assessments Inc, a risk consulting firm, at least 33 foreigners were kidnapped in the Philippines last year, mostly Indian nationals. Indians are considered prime targets because many of them are engaged in small-time informal lending and hence often carry large amounts of cash. Chinese, Korean and American nationals, all of whom are believed capable of paying high ransoms, have also been frequently targeted, Troillo said. Including local victims, 139 people were kidnapped in the Philippines last year, up slightly from the 135 snatched in 2008. [Ibid]

    Bob wrote in his blog myphilippinelife.com: “If you are a Caucasian foreigner and stay out of dangerous areas in Mindanao, you probably don’t need to worry about being kidnapped. Except for Mindanao, kidnappers generally target rich Chinese-Filipinos (Chinoys). Generally, they pay ransom without going to the police. The police have been reported to be involved in such kidnappings. Some foreign businessmen and aid workers have been kidnapped, usually Japanese. Remember, the vast majority of retirees are pensioners who live on modest retirement pensions — not good kidnap ransom targets. Kidnapping a rich Chinoy businessman really boils down to negotiations over the size of the ransom. Kidnapping a foreigner invites complications. [Source: myphilippinelife.com]

    High Murder Rate of Foreigners in the Philippines

    Bob wrote in his blog myphilippinelife.com: “I’ve been following news of murders of foreigners in the Philippines for several years. There are quite a few, considering how few foreigners there are in the Philippines. Here are a few observations which might be of help to anticipate problems. Most violence against foreigners is not perpetrated out of desperation by the poor Filipino whose family needs food or medicine. Perhaps we are projecting on to Filipinos our own perceptions of what we would do in such circumstances. Most provincial Filipinos would never commit such acts. They accept what comes their way as part of God’s plan. [Source: myphilippinelife.com]

    I believe that murders are generally not by the desperate acting out of real need, but rather by those as a way to “get rich quick”, often by maids, casual workers and boyfriends who have some knowledge, association and access to the foreigner victims. The operative influences are greed, sex, booze and shabu (methamphetamine) — not helping a sick or hungry family member.

    Almost all the murders of foreigners I have read of have occurred in the foreigner’s hotel or apartment or home, not in bars, not on the streets, not by the Muslim extremists. Most of these murders been been committed by people the victim knew or people associated with these people, not by a strangers breaking into their house.

    By far, the most common perpetrators are: 1) the boyfriend of the foreigner’s wife or young girlfriend; 2) the maid’s boyfriend; 3) some relative of the girlfriend, wife or the maid. 4) Ex-employees are another possibility. These murderers usually don’t break in. They are let in, either knowingly by the foreigner or by one of the other parties mentioned, or they take advantage of security vulnerabilities they have observed or learned of. The foreigner is killed because he resists or because the robber is known to him and he does not want to be caught. Sometimes the accomplice maid or girlfriend is “tied-up” and reports the crime to neighbors or police when she gets free. I have read of many of foreigners murdered in this way.

    How to Avoid Being Murdered if You Are a Foreigners in the Philippines

    Bob wrote in his blog myphilippinelife.com: “A stable, monogamous married life is prudent. A taste for young boys has gotten many foreigners into trouble. Chasing young women can also expose you to all sorts of dangers; from her jealous or conniving boyfriend or from her family. If you live in a city, living in a gated, guarded subdivision probably is safer. It’s not perfect, but low-life characters may find it a bit harder, bit more intimidating, more frightening to get in at night, and a bit harder to flee. This only applies to subdivisions with real security including roving patrols at night. It’s no accident that Filipinos move to such subdivisions if they can afford it. Many subdivisions put up a show of security with a fancy guardhouse, but often anyone is allowed in. [Source: myphilippinelife.com]

    Secure subdivisions don’t exist outside the bigger cities and may be less necessary, but don’t fool yourself. Many foreigners have been killed in their bucolic rural homes. Foreigners like my wife and I can happily report that they have lived in such and such a place for two or three or five years and have never had a problem. We don’t feel such anecdotal tidbits really prove anything.

    Observe how affluent Filipinos provide for their security. As mentioned earlier. foreigners sometimes belittle walls, and gated subdivisions and other security precautions that seem over-done or distasteful from an American or European perspective, as though they know better than Filipinos what the dangers are and how to provide security.

    Here a few specific security suggestions: 1) Keep gates locked at all times and doors at night. Night means after dark. 2) Don’t leave your home unattended for any extended period of time and certainly not overnight. If you are away, have a family member or trusted maid stay in the home. 3) Maintain good control over who comes into your compound or house, especially at night. Unless you really trust your maid, make sure she can’t let people in. Once again, if you are murdered, it’s probably because you or someone else let the killer in. Recently a foreign retiree was watching TV with his wife. The dog started to bark. The man opened the door to see what the problem was. He was immediately stabbed in the stomach by an intruder waiting there. He died on the way to a hospital. 4) Have one or more noisy dogs. Have the police emergency number programmed into your cellphone and keep your cellphone in your bedroom. Consider a secure bedroom door and don’t challenge any burglar. If someone breaks in, stay in your bedroom and let them steal what they like. Have a very loud panic alarm and lights when can be switched on from your locked bedroom.

    In one comment Jerry says, “It is definitely unwise to join a ‘inuman’ or ‘drinking’ party by yourself. Especially if you don’t know the people really well.” We concur with this advice 110 percent. When you are with inebriated men and women and you are also inebriated, a wrong move or comment can easily escalate into something violent. A comment or flirtation which would be acceptable in your home may provoke anger in another culture.

    If you do have a lot of money, keep it in a foreign bank. Information about your bank balances in your Philippine bank are not necessarily secure. Don’t brag about or discuss your finances with any one, including other foreigners. Make sure everyone is aware that you are living off of a pension, that when you die the money stops. Don’t have a safe in the house. Everyone will assume it is full of money, even if it’s not. Don’t withdraw large amounts of cash from your bank account. There have been cases where bank employees sent text messages about large withdrawals to accomplices outside the bank. The foreigner was robbed at gunpoint. Pay for major purchases (vehicle, house) with a manager’s check from your Philippine bank.

    Murders of Foreigners in the Philippines

    In August 2004, a 41-year-old Japanese man was shot to death by four robbers trying to steal his luggage soon after he arrived in Manila from Japan. The man, who came to the Philippines often to visit his daughter, was handcuffed in a van and shot at least seven times in front his 10-year-old and 13-year-old sons. In April 2003, a Japanese man was stabbed to death in an apartment building in the Makati suburb of Manila. The man was a 42-year-old engineer with a 27-year-old Filipina wife.

    In the early 2000s, a South Korean diplomat was found in the streets of Manila hours after Filipino befriended him and invited him for drinks. A Filipino named Norbero Manero was imprisoned for killing and eating a Italian priest.

    In September 2012, “Robbers at a convenience store in Manila shot dead an American executive of an English language training center. Associated Press reported: “Police said Robert Edward Armstrong was inside the Manila store on Sunday when four robbers ordered the employees and at least three customers into the storage room while they emptied the cash register. Police officer Alonzo Layugan said 45-year-old Armstrong was shot when he tried to dash out of the store. Layugan said that the wounded American managed to get into his car but one of the robbers shot him again. Armstrong was declared dead at a hospital. Police said the other customers and employees were unharmed. The robbers are still at large. [Source: Associated Press, September 3, 2012]

    According to Brain Twister; “The murder of foreigners rose after President Gloria Arroyo signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in July 2006. In the Philippines, they will murder anyone for the smallest reason and many murders go unsolved. The Philippines has the third worst murder solving record of killed journalists in the world behind Mexico and Iraq. [Source: Brain Twister, Topix, August 18, 2013]

    Foreigners Murdered in the Philippines

    The following is a list of foreigner murders or acts of terrorism committed between 2003 and 2013. Many more are committed and not reported in the regional or national news: AITKIN, Phillip Andrew b: abt 1963 in Australia (British passport - dual) d: 20 Oct 2008 in Guadalupe Village, Lanang, Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines; AKSNES, Nils Frode Steen b: abt 1958 in Norway d: 20 Jul 2009 in Grantville Subdivision, Consolacion, Cebu, Philippines; ANG, Luis b: abt 1953 in Chinese National d: 18 Oct 2011 in Tondo District, Metro Manila, Philippines; ATKINS, Paul Raymond b: abt 1949 in Stoke On Trent, England d: 18 Oct 2011 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; BALMER, David b: abt 1955 in Northern Ireland d: Sep 2009 in Barangay Malabanias, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; BASHAM, James K b: 14 May 1947 in Jefferson County, Kentucky d: 19 Sep 2010 in Barangay Pampang, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; BAYLEY, Graham b: abt 1952 in of Staffordshire, England d: 31 Dec 2010 in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Luzon, Philippines; BENNUN OR BANNAN, Geoffrey Allan b: abt 1950 in Canadian passport d: 12 Jul 2010 in Clarkview, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; BROWN, Ivan Royal b: abt 1943 in /of Bentleigh Court, Australia d: 24 Sep 2008 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; BUCHNER, Donald b: in United States d: 26 Sep 1989 in near Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, Philippines; BUENAFLOR, Raymond Cesar b: 18 Oct 1938 in of the U.S. d: 10 Feb 2010 in Barangay Pulung Maragul, Angeles City, Pampanga; BUHLER, Ronald Barsh b: abt 1952 in Germany d: 26 May 2010 in Village 3. Talakag, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines; BUJNOWSKI, George Harold b: 22 May 1947 in prob Massachusetts d: 26 Aug 2009 in Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines; BURNEY, Jim b: abt 1944 in Australia d: 25 May 2009 in Tangalan, Aklan, Philippines; BURNHAM, "Hostage" Martin "Missionary" b: abt 1960 in of Rose Hill, Butler County, Kansas d: 7 Jun 2002 in Mindanao, Philippines. [Source: Brain Twister, Topix, August 18, 2013]

    CABURNAY, Orlando Barrozo b: 19 Aug 1952 in /of Greatmills, St. Mary's County, Maryland d: 27 Jun 2011 in Brgy. Sampaguita, San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines; CAMPBELL, Julia "Peace Corps" b: 25 Jan 1967 in of Fairfax, Fairfax County, Virginia d: 8 Apr 2007 in Brgy. Batad, Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines; CARZEDDA, Fr Salvatore b: in Italy d: 1992 in Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippines; CASTEEN, Leamon Wesley Jr b: 23 Jan 1935 in South Carolina d: 30 Mar 2011 in Sanciangko Street, Cebu City, Cebu, Phillipines; CHANDER, Subash "Lucky" b: abt 1977 in India d: bef 26 Sep 2010 in Ilagan, Isabela, Philippines; CHANG, Suk-hi (plus two unamed) b: abt 1954 in South Korea d: 27 Jul 2008 in Kabalan village, Olongapo City, Philippines; CHO, Rev. Te-Hwan "Missionary" b: in South Korea d: 22 Aug 2010 in Manila, Philippines; CHOI, In-Soo b: in South Korea d: 2 Dec 2011 in Hospital, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines; CO, Shahani "Raymond" b: in Chinese National d: 28 Nov 2010 in Fontana Leisure Parks/Casino, CEZ, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; CONEJAR, Rodgen b: abt 1954 in Australia d: 11 Nov 2011 in Bunawan Brook, Agusan del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines; COWPERTHWAITE, John James b: abt 1944 in England d: 2 May 2004 in villa La Dolce Vita, Mt. Luho, Balabag, Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines; DAVIS, Sgt Randy b: abt 1957 in United States d: 28 Oct 1987 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; DAVIS, Steven "Steve" b: in England d: 2002 in Manila, Philippines; DEBONO, Joseph Mary b: abt 1938 in Australia d: 7 Aug 2011 in Ano, Brgy. Banilad, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines; DIEFENBACKED, Benn b: in Europe d: bet Jan and Sep 2011 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; DOLAN, Owen b: in New Zealand d: 15 Aug 2001 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; DVORAK, Richard Kevin b: 12 Apr 1961 in Missouri d: 27 Aug 2003 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; Ex-pat aka "Santa Claus” b: in United States d: 2000 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines.

    FAHEY, Kenneth b: abt 1953 in /of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia d: 24 Feb 2009 in near Ayungon, Negros Oriental, Philippines; FAUST, A1C Steven M b: 11 Sep 1965 in Deer Park, Harris County, Texas d: 28 Oct 1987 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; FAVALI, Fr. Tullio b: in Italy d: 1985 in Tulunan, North Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines; FORSTENHAUSLER, Anton b: abt 1941 in Germany d: 2 May 2004 in villa La Dolce Vita, Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines; FRONDA, Julius b: abt 1960 in /a U.S. Citizen d: 14 Mar 2011 in #284 Unson St., San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines; FRONDA, Zenaida b: abt 1937 in /a U.S. Citizen d: 14 Mar 2011 in #284 Unson St., San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines; FU, Cheuk-Yan b: in of Hong Kong d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; FUNG, Kwok Che b: abt 1949 in of Hong Kong d: abt 8 Apr 2011 in Sitio Cantimog, Brgy. Libhu, Maasin City, Leyte, Philippines; GRAHAM, James Kermit b: in United States d: in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; HA, Yang-Kang b: in South Korea d: 30 Jan 2010 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; HAESSLER, Kartsen b: abt 1963 in of Wolfsburg, Germany d: Nov 2006 in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines; HAMMER, John d: abt 2000 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; HOLTZ, Hans b: abt 1954 in Germany d: 14 Apr 2006 in Clark Ave, Villasol Subd, Brgy Arunas, Angeles City, Philippines; HOLZ, Werner b: abt 1947 in of Melbourne, Australia d: 6 Jan 2009 in Ajuy, Iloilo, Philippines; HONDA, Hiromi b: abt 1951 in Japan d: abt 30 Jan 2010 in Manila, Philippines; HUANG, Shao-Huai b: abt 1964 in Chinese National d: 9 Jul 2011 in St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City, Luzon, Philippines; HYDE, William P "Missionary" b: 3 Feb 1944 in of Iowa d: 4 Mar 2003 in Davao City, Mindano, Philippines; HYUNG, Hur b: abt 1952 in South Korea d: 28 Sep 2011 in San Juan City, Manila, Philippines.

    More Foreigners Murdered in the Philippines

    IMOTO, Kazuya b: abt 1961 in Yoshimizu-Cho, Kyoto, Japan d: 8 Jun 2010 in Subic Techno Park, Subic Bay, Philippines; ISHERWOORD, Jane b: abt 1947 in England d: 30 Oct 2010 in Dau Street, Pilar Village, Las Piñas City, NCR, Philippines; JARMAN, Leonard b: abt 1940 in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, United Kingdom d: 31 Aug 2007 in Las Pinas City, Metro Manila, Philippines; JOHNSON, SFC Mark Wayne "Green Beret" b: 7 Jun 1962 in Saginaw, Saginaw County, Michigan d: 2 Oct 2002 in Malagutay, Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippines; JONES, Bruce Anthony b: abt 1960 in England d: 21 Sep 2010 in Brgy. Pulung Maragul, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; KAKARA, James Thomas b: 25 Feb 1950 in Los Angeles County, California d: 24 Dec 2011 in Viva Road, Barangay Kaybagal South, Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines; KANG, Ha-Young b: in South Korea d: 30 Jan 2010 in Clark economic zone, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; KESSLER, Martin b: abt 1963 in Germany d: May 2009 in Quezon City, Philippines; KIM, Jae-Chun Lee b: in South Korea d: 16 Dec 2011 in Sta Barbara, Piat, Cagayan, Luzon, Philippines; KIM, Min-Jung b: abt 1988 in South Korea d: 24 May 2011 in in Eurotel, Pedro Gil Street, Malate, Metro Manila, Philippines; KIM, Young-Dal b: abt 1954 in South Korea d: 26 Jul 2011 in Ternate, Cavite, Philippines; KINDY, Steven "Steve" aka Candy b: 12 Mar 1969 in of Midland, Midland County, Michigan d: 20 Sep 2010 in Mahayahay, Iligan, Lanao del Norte, Philippines; KO, Jaem-Young b: abt 1962 in South Korea d: abt 20 Jul 2010 in Villasol Subd., Brgy. Anunas, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; KRUSE, Herman b: abt 1941 in Germany d: 3 Jul 2009 in Daan Bantayan, Cebu, Philippines; KUMAR, Anil b: abt 1975 in India d: 20 May 2007 in Lucban town, Quezon, Luzon, Philippines. [Source: Brain Twister, Topix, August 18, 2013]

    LAVERI, William "Bill" b: 20 Aug 1939 in prob Connecticut d: 28 Jul 2011 in Sta. Maria 1, Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; LEE, Hyen-Koung b: in South Korea d: 26 Dec 2007 in Brgy. Manibaug, Paralaya, Pampanga, Philippines; LEUNG, Doris Chung-See b: abt 1989 in of Hong Kong (Canadian Passport) d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; LEUNG, Jessie Song-yi b: abt 1996 in of Hong Kong (Canadian Passport) d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; LEUNG, Ken Kam-wing b: in of Hong Kong (Canadian Passport) d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; LIM, Kyong Il b: abt 1979 in South Korea d: 30 Jan 2011 in Ayala Alabang Village, Metro Manila, Philippines; LINGLEY, Barry Ernest b: 7 May 1950 in /of San Jose, Santa Clara County, California d: 27 Jun 2011 in Brgy. Cristo Rey, Capas, Tarlac, Philippines; LOBKI, Antonio Henricos b: abt 1919 in Netherlands d: 6 Jan 2009 in Barangay Liboron, Carcar City, Cebu, Phillipines; MAGELLAN, Ferdinand b: c 1480 in Sabrosa, Portugal d: 27 Apr 1521 in Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines; MANGANTI, Ret. Sgt. Herculano b: abt 1927 in Philippines with U.S. Citizenship d: 28 Oct 1987 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; MASA, Tse b: in of Hong Kong d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; MAXWELL, Charles "Charlie" b: abt 1948 in of Longbridge Deverill, Warminster, Wiltshire, England d: 12 Apr 2009 in Ubay, Bohol, Philippines; MAZZA, Sergio Sandro b: abt 1972 in of Berlin, Germany d: 10 Jun 2010 in Legaspi Village, Makati, Manila, Philippines; MCDONALD, John Lorne b: abt 1983 in of Aberdeen, Lancashire, England d: 5 Sep 2010 in Angona, Rizal, Philippines; MELTON, Jerry b: abt 1957 in United States d: 5 Mar 2009 in Barangay Malabanias, Angeles City, Philippines; MICHALSKI, Dr Frank Joseph M.D. b: 28 Sep 1938 in of Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida d: 10 Aug 2009 in Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines; MIDDLETON, Carl Roy b: abt 1968 in of England d: 19 Jun 2010 in Tayaw Lodge, Baguio City, Philippines; MILLER, William Henry "Billy" b: abt 1966 in United States d: 16 Dec 2010 in Barangay Capaya, Angeles City, Philippines; MITCHELL, Albert Raye Sr b: 28 Nov 1937 in Highpoint, Guilford County, North Carolina d: 22 Jul 2010 in Barangay Malabanias, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; MURDOCH, Gordan David b: abt 1939 in of Batemans Bay, Australia d: 16 Feb 1981 in Mindanao, Philippines.

    NICHOLAS, Anthony b: abt 1946 in of London, England d: 6 Sep 2010 in Sitio Matlag, Barangay 4, Sipalay, Negros Occidental, Philippines; NOE, Victor Eugene b: 31 Jan 1946 in of Indiana d: 24 Jul 2006 in R. Duterte Street, Banawa, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines; OH, Young-Kwan b: abt 1969 in South Korea d: 26 Dec 2007 in Brgy. Manibaug, Paralaya, Pampanga, Philippines; PERIDER, Pierre b: in Belguim d: 22 Apr 2009 in Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway in Batangas, Luzon, Philippines; PORTER, James Bolton b: abt 1960 in of Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England d: 16 Jul 2010 in Barangay Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; R, Richard b: abt 1940 in of Canton, Switzerland d: 12 May 2010 in /near Manila, Philippines; RASAY, Mikael Troy Johansen b: abt 1993 in of Oslo, Norway d: 31 Jul 2011 in Timog Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines; REICH, Alexander b: abt 1987 in /of Brüttisellen, in canton Zurich, Switzerland d: 22 Sep 2011 in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines; REUTENBERG, Darcy Hanz "Missionary" b: abt 1958 in Canada d: 26 Jun 2011 in Barangay Adlawon, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines; ROBERTS, Paul Anthony b: abt 1949 in England d: 28 Jun 2009 in Barangay Canigao, Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines; ROWE, COL James Nicholas b: 8 Feb 1938 in McAllen, Hidalgo County, Texas d: 21 Apr 1989 in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines; SABERO, Guillermo b: abt 1961 in of Corona, Riverside County, California d: abt 12 Jun 2001 in Basilan Island, Mindanao, Philippines; SCHOENI, Manfred b: abt 1944 in Switzerland d: 2 May 2004 in villa La Dolce Vita, Mt. Luho, Balabag, Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines; SELVARAJ, Palaniappen b: abt 1955 in Malaysia d: 18 Jun 2009 in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; SHINDA, Surinder b: in Jalandhar, Punjab, India d: Jul 2006 in Manila, Philippines; SIEPKAMP, Hans van de b: 10 Feb 1952 in Voorburg, Leidschendam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands d: 15 Dec 2011 in Sta. Maria 1, Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; SINGH, Charmjewd b: in India d: 25 Nov 2010 in President Quirino, Sultan Kudarat, Mindanao, Philippines; SINGH, Gurmail b: abt 1969 in Kot-Bhaktu, Bathinda, Punjabi, India d: 22 Jan 2011 in Manila, Philippines; SINGH, Manjeat b: abt 1984 in India d: 15 Nov 2011 in Agusan del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines; SINGH, Mohinder b: in India d: 25 Feb 2011 in Manila, Philippines; SINGH, Pardeep b: abt 1985 in India d: 5 Mar 2011 in Angono, Rizal, Philippines; SINGH, Raja b: abt 1974 in India d: 10 Aug 2011 in Brgy. Lower Mohon, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines; SINGH, Satinder b: abt 1984 in India d: 10 Jun 2010 in Panabo, Davao del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines; SINGH, Sokhdib b: in India d: 5 Oct 2010 in Brgy. Lag-asan, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, Philippines; SINGH, Sukhinder b: abt 1985 in India d: 15 Nov 2011 in Agusan del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines; SMITH, Brian Thomas b: 20 Feb 1960 in Grinnell, Poweshiek County, Iowa d: 30 Jan 2002 in Mt. Pinatubo, Porac, Pampanga, Philippines; SO, Richard b: abt 1955 in Chinese d: 24 Sep 2010 in Haven Hotel, Brgy. Pulung Maragul, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines; STEIN, Nils Aksnes Frodei b: abt 1958 in Norway d: 20 Jul 2009 in Subd. Jugan, Consolacion town, Cebu, Philippines; SUBHASH, Chandre Bhati b: abt 1974 in India d: 7 Dec 2011 in Purok 2, Brgy. Naggasican, Santiago City, Isabela, Philippines; SUNG, Jung-Hak b: abt 1982 in South Korea d: 7 Aug 2010 in Brgy. Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga, Philippines.

    TENTORIO, Fr. Fausto b: abt 1952 in Italy d: 17 Oct 2011 in Arakan, North Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines; THOMPSON, William b: in United States d: 26 Sep 1989 in near Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, Philippines; THORPE, Thomas Michael b: 26 Dec 1979 in Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York d: 13 Aug 2009 in Fields Ave., Balibago, Angeles City, Pampamga, Philippines; ; U.S. STATE DEPT FILE, Two Unnamed American(s) b: in U.S. Citizen d: 25 Mar 2010 in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines; ; US NAVY, Two "Sebees" b: in of United States d: 29 Sep 2009 in near Indanan, Sulu, Jolo Island, Philippines; VIKSTEN, Alfonso Melker b: abt 1947 in Sweden d: 7 Jun 2008 in Sitio Catap, Brgy. Banlot, Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines; WANG, Guilin b: abt 1964 in Chinese National d: 18 Dec 2001 in Nueva Ecija province, North Luzon, Philippines; WILLIAMS, Martin b: abt 1966 in of Liverpool, England d: 24 Mar 2009 in Boloc-boloc Spring, Brgy. Mansasa, Pangalo, Bohol, Philippines; WONG, Tze-Iam b: in of Hong Kong d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; YEUNG, Yee-kam b: in of Hong Kong d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines; YEUNG, Yee-Wa b: in of Hong Kong d: 23 Aug 2010 in Quirino Grandstand, Manila, Philippines;

    Peace Corps Volunteer Beaten to Death in the Rural Philippines

    In April 2007, an American Peace Corps volunteer, Julia Campbell, 40, of Fairfax, Va., disappeared during a solo hike to Ifugao province's famed mountainside rice terraces. Initially it was thought that she might have fallen and been carried away a rushing stream but later her killers confessed on television to what he did. Associated Press reported: “The man suspected of killing a Peace Corps volunteer who was beaten to death and buried in a shallow grave gave himself up and confessed on television, saying he would accept "whatever punishment you will impose on me." Juan Duntugan claimed he was fuming about a running feud with a neighbor when Julia Campbell bumped into him from behind, causing him to drop a bundle of clothes he was carrying. "My mind went blank," Duntugan told ABS-CBN television. "I did not know who she was or what she was. I got a rock and I hit her on the head. If I can change my body for hers, I will do it. But that's not possible. Whatever punishment you will impose on me, I will accept it." [Source: Associated Press, April 27, 2007 ><]

    “Apparently referring to speculation that Campbell may have been killed during an attempted rape or robbery, Duntugan said: "I admit it, yes. I killed her, but I did not do whatever other people are thinking I did." National police chief Oscar Calderon said police were "documenting his statement in the presence of a lawyer." Senior Superintendent Pedro Ganir, police chief of northern Ifugao province, where Campbell's body was found April 18, told The Associated Press that Duntugan's mother persuaded him to turn himself in and his uncle delivered him to the police station in the provincial capital of Lagawe. "We provided him security so that he will not be harmed," Ganir said. ><

    “Duntugan's wife had sold Campbell a soft drink before her hike, and a boy has told police that he saw him near the grave that day. Duntugan, a woodcarver who lives in the area, went into hiding the next day. A police autopsy showed that Campbell, who worked as a freelance journalist for The New York Times and other media organizations, was killed by multiple blows to the head, and that her arms were injured, indicating she tried to ward off an attack. ><

    “Campbell worked in Bicol as an English teacher. The Bicol region, southeast of Manila, includes Albay's provincial capital Legazpi and Donsol township in nearby Sorsogon province, which is famous for whale sharks and is where Campbell helped launch an ecology awareness campaign.

    Philippines a Death Trap for Koreans?

    The Philippines is a popular destination for South Korean students, businessmen and retirees. In 2013, twelve Koreans were shot or stabbed to death. Four had been killed by April 2014. In all the cases no suspects had been taken into custody. Kim Se-jeong wrote in the Korean Times, “The foreign ministry dismissed a claim that Koreans were being targeted. "The Philippine's criminal system is weak, and, without exception, the number of crimes and killings of visitors is rising for Chinese, Japanese and Americans alike. Each visitor should stay vigilant." Experts opine that the Koreans are often victims of contract killings organized by their compatriots. [Source: Kim Se-jeong, Korean Times, April 10, 2014 <>]

    “In early April 2014, a 21-year-old student, was found dead outside Manila. She had been kidnapped more than a month ago. Her body was found in the hideout of her kidnappers, who reportedly called her brother for a ransom. No information is available about the identity of the kidnappers and their motivation. In February, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Korean man was found dead on a highway near Benguet, north of Manila. The police found gunshot wounds on his body. <>

    On April 6, a 45-year-old South Korean businessman was fatally shot while eating dinner with his family at an outdoor restaurant in Angeles City by an unknown gunman who escaped on a motorcycle. Last February, a 65-year-old Korean tourist was also fatally shot in Angeles City by unidentified assailants. Since 2009, there have been 40 Koreans killed in the Philippines. Between 2009 and 2013, 44 percent of some 160 murder cases of Korean nationals abroad occurred in the Philippines, according to the foreign ministry. [Source: Manila Bulletin, April 13, 2014]

    In February 2014, a South Korean tourist died after he was shot by one of two men on a motorcycle in Barangay Anunas in this city. Jun Malig of the Inquirer Central Luzon wrote: “Investigators said the victim, Her Tae Suk, 65, was walking toward the Prism Hotel on Clarkview Avenue with three other Koreans at 7:45 p.m. when the assailants approached them. One of the men then drew a 9-mm pistol and shot Her several times. Police have yet to determine what prompted the attack. Her’s companions -– Lee Jae Woo, 37; Jung Jon Gik, 37; and Park Jeung Keun, 37 — were unhurt and were able to run away when the shooting started. The Korean Community Association of Central Luzon, which has offices at “Korean Town,” a district on the Fil-Am Friendship Highway where most Koreans in the city live, has been airing its concern about criminals victimizing South Koreans living in this city and other parts of the region. A month earlier two men on a motorcycle shot and wounded a Korean. The killers took $20,000 the Korean had withdrew from a bank in Angeles City. [Source:Jun Malig, Inquirer Central Luzon, February 19, 2014]

    Some experts pointed their finger at Korean criminals there, saying that more protection is needed for travelers. "It is highly possible that there are Koreans behind these crimes," said Professor Kim Dong-yeob at Busan University of Foreign Studies. “According to him, the majority of cases involving Korean victims are contract killings. "Many Koreans flying to the Philippines have a reason to flee Korea. Many are gang members escaping law enforcement. What they end up doing is paying people to swindle money from Koreans. businessmen, students and tourists." Cho Yang-eun, a leader of Korean organized gang named "Yangeunyi" is one example. He was detained in November last year in the northern Philippines. According to the National Police Agency, 170 criminals on its wanted list are currently in the Philippines. <>

    A Korean running a private youth hostel in the Philippines echoed the professor. "The cause of crimes involving Korean nationals happening in the Philippines is either a contract killing or a random one targeting wealthy Koreans," she said, declining to be named. Prof. Park noted understanding the country could explain rampant killings higher than neighboring countries. "You can own a gun in the Philippines. Also, it is a Catholic country, meaning people probably feel freer than those visiting Malaysia or Indonesia which are Muslim countries. And take Thailand, for example. They have better protection for foreign tourists," Park said. <.

    South Korea Sends Investigators After Student Found Dead

    “In early April 2014, a 21-year-old student, was found dead outside Manila. She had been kidnapped more than a month ago. Her body was found in the hideout of her kidnappers, who reportedly called her brother for a ransom. The Manila Bulletin reported: “The 21-year-old female South Korean college student was found dead after being abducted in Pasay City on March 3 while on her way to meet a friend. Her decomposing body was reportedly found in the hideout of her abductors. The exact details of the Korean student's death have not been released other than that she was identified by her clothing. The victim's younger brother, who was also in the Philippines, attempted to identify his sister, but was unable to do so because her body was so badly decomposed. [Source: Manila Bulletin, April 13, 2014]

    “The abduction, which took place over a month ago, was not reported as authorities were supposedly working out the safe release of the victim. Local police said there appeared to have been at least three kidnappers, including the taxi driver. No additional information is available about the identity of the kidnappers and their motivation.

    “Her body was found in the hiding place of the abductors Tuesday night despite our utmost efforts to win her safe release,” an official quoted by Yonhap said. The hiding place was located about an hour car ride north of the capital. The abduction became known when one of the abductors called the friend she was to meet and demanded a hefty ransom, according to the official. [Yonhap]

    South Korean dispatched a team of investigators led by a high-level official to the Philippines to look into the recent death of the South Korean. At the same time, South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson and Deputy Minister for Public Relations Cho Tai-young said his government is calling on relevant Philippine authorities to "conduct an investigation in a thorough manner to find accomplices other than those already arrested." "The ROK government will keep working closely with the Philippine side in this regard," said Cho in a press briefing held in Seoul last Thursday. A transcript of his remarks was posted in the official South Korean foreign ministry website.

    Frat ‘Hitman’ Assassination and Other Murders Involving Japanese

    Alleged fraternity hitman Aristotle “Ares” Aves was charged yesterday for the murder of Japanese national Taroh Suda. Chito O. Aragon reported: Senior Supt. Jose Jorge Corpuz of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Vsiayas (CIDG-7) said Mandaue City police filed the charges after it was determined that the bullet that killed Suda on July 18, 2007 matched the gun found on Aves when he was arrested Dec. 3, 2007. Corpuz said Aves, a member of the Alpha Kappa Rho (Akrho) fraternity, had served as a gun-for-hire for a mastermind who wanted Suda dead. He declined to name the mastermind, but said Suda's death was “business-related.” Seven others, all Akrho, were named co-accused. [Source: Chito O. Aragon, January 25, 2008]

    In 2005, a Japanese man was found hacked to death in his home in the northern Philippines. Kyodo reported: “The blood-soaked body of the victim, identified as Shinya Takemoto, 59, was found dead by his Filipino wife, Maryjane Juan, at 3:55 a.m. Saturday at their home in Solsona municipality of Ilocos Norte province. [Source: Kyodo, May, 9, 2005]

    In May 2014, five men were charged with robbing and killing a Japanese engineer who was on his way to visit his Filipina girlfriend in Nueva Ecija. Dino Balabo wrote in the Philippine Star, Superintendent Fitz Macariola, police chief of San Miguel, Bulacan, identified three of the suspects as Bartolome Alvaro, his brother-in-law Armand Lubong, and Junior Casano. The two others are now being hunted down. Citing investigation reports, Macariola said Alvaro picked up 60-year-old Katsushige Fujinaga at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and were to drive him to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija to meet with his girlfriend. However, upon reaching the Daang Maharlika Highway in Barangay Sacdalan, San Miguel town, the Japanese engineer and Alvaro were robbed by four men riding a tricycle at around 7:30 p.m. [Source: Dino Balabo, Philippine Star, May 1, 2014]

    “Fujinaga refused to give his bag containing cash and other valuables and was stabbed dead. According to Macariola, investigators became suspicious of Alvaro’s account of the circumstances leading to Fujinaga’s death. Upon further questioning, Alvaro eventually admitted his involvement in the crime and identified his cohorts. Follow-up police operations led to the arrest of Lubong and Casano in Barangay Tigpalas, San Miguel town. The tricycle used by the suspects, a Kawasaki Bajaj 100 CT100, with license plate 3802-DO was recovered. The vehicle had bloodstains on it. The two suspects yielded 26 10,000 yen bills, two 5,000 yen bills, and three 1,000 yen bills, amounting to 273,000 yen, as well as P18,000 cash and $56. Macariola said Alvaro and Lubong hatched the plan to rob Fujinaga, but not to kill him. The suspects though said everything went awry when the Japanese refused to give his bag. Police have filed robbery and homicide charges against Alvaro, Lubong and Casano while still tracking down their two accomplices.” [Ibid]

    Kyodo reported: “Fujinaga, an engineer from Ibaraki Prefecture, had just arrived from Japan to visit his Filipino girlfriend. Fujinaga was stabbed multiple times with a double-edged kitchen knife, a butterfly knife and an ice pick, he said. Police said the main suspect is the regular driver of the victim’s 32-year-old Filipino girlfriend, who had requested that he fetch him from the airport.

    In May 2010, Kyodo reported: “ A Japanese national was killed before, apparently stabbed to death by two suspected robbers in the southern Philippine city Zamboanga, police said. The victim was identified as Tokio Miyake, 71, a pensioner from Okayama Prefecture who has been a resident of Zamboanga in western Mindanao for around 15 years, police investigator Mario Lafuente told Kyodo News. Lafuente said Miyake sustained a fatal wound on the left part of his chest caused by an ice pick. He died on the spot. [Source: Kyodo News, May 14, 2010]

    Japanese Murdered in Plots Involving Their Spouses

    In January 2013, a Filipina and her son were arrested along with three other suspects for the gun-for-hire murder of the woman’s Japanese husband. AFP reported: “Hideo Niikura was shot dead by a motorcycle-riding gunman in Dasmariñas, a town about 35 kilometers south of Manila on December 29, a police statement said. His wife Merlinda Soria, 46, confessed she and an adult son by another man had plotted the killing, the statement said. The son and one of his friends paid a third man P100,000 (just under $2,500) to commit the murder, according to the statement, which added that the son’s friend also corroborated the woman’s deposition after their arrest.[Source: Agence France-Presse, January 5, 2013]

    “Police said the four were detained in separate police raids in Dasmariñas, along with another male suspect also implicated in the conspiracy. Police seized two semi-automatic pistols from the alleged gunman and the woman’s son, it said. The statement said mother and son plotted to have her husband killed “over money matters and alleged physical abuses”, but did not elaborate. Local police sources said the couple met in Manila around 1990, got married seven years ago and have a five-year-old child. The husband decided to permanently relocate to Dasmariñas in September 2012.” [Ibid]

    In March 2012, a 32-year-old Japanese woman was killed by her Filipino husband after she berated him for coming home drunk in the late at night. Jhunnex Napallacan wrote in the Inquirer Visayas, “Kotoka Kajii Denila, a Tokyo native and mother of a 9-month old girl, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital. Police arrested Dexter Louie Denila, 27, a native of Tagum, Davao del Norte, a few hours after the suspect fled the scene. [Source: Jhunnex Napallacan. Inquirer Visayas. March 26th, 2012 ^^]

    “Winston Ybañez, Lapu-Lapu City police homicide investigator, said that before the killing, Dexter was in a drinking session with his friends at a basketball court a few blocks from their house in Dominique Subdivision, Sitio Sudtongan, Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City. Ybañez said a drunken Dexter went home at around 2:45 a.m. and knocked on the door of their house several times before Kotoka went down to let him in. “The victim allegedly scolded the suspect for coming home late,” Ybañez said. After scolding her husband, Kotoka went upstairs to go back to sleep in their bedroom on the second floor. But Dexter went to the kitchen, got a knife, and followed his wife upstairs, Ybañez said. The suspect then stabbed Kotoka before she could enter their bedroom, he added. ^^

    “House help Jupel Baldoseno, who was sleeping on the ground floor, told police he was awakened by Kotoka’s shouting. When he rushed upstairs, he saw Dexter repeatedly stabbing the victim. Baldoseno said he rushed out of the house to ask help from neighbors. But by the time the neighbors and the police arrived, Dexter had already fled, bringing with him the murder weapon, according to Ybañez. ^^

    “Dexter was arrested at past 7 a.m. by policemen from Lapu-Lapu City police station 4. Yabañez said the suspect was seen just roaming outside the subdivision, the murder weapon no longer in his possession. The police official theorized Dexter was not only drunk but could also have been high on drugs because he could not respond properly to their questions. The suspect claimed innocence, saying just saw his wife on the floor with several stab wounds and that he merely took the knife from her body. The couple’s infant was taken into custody by the Lapu-Lapu City women’s desk and would be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Ybañez said that based on initial information, the couple got married last April 2011. Dexter was jobless while Kotoka was reportedly engaged in an unspecified business here, he added.” ^^

    Three Filipinos Held for Dumping Japanese Man at Sea

    In August 2014, three Filipino men were detained after confessing to dumping the bodies of a missing Japanese man and his Filipina girlfriend at sea. Asia News Network reported: “The men disposed of the bodies of Japanese businessman Yuji Okada and his girlfriend in early July on the orders of a Filipino suspect who remains at large, the department's National Bureau of Investigation said. The men initially buried the bodies on a sandy riverbank east of Manila, but later dug them up after a stray dog disturbed the site, said senior investigator Joel Tovera. "They loaded the bodies on a boat and sailed to Polillo island, where the by then bloated bodies were strapped to sandbags and dropped into the water," he told a news conference. [Source: Asia News Network, August 14, 2014]

    “Okada and his girlfriend are still registered as missing as no bodies have been found, Tovera added. Tovera said the authorities are looking for a total of four Filipino suspects, in addition to those already arrested over the couple's disappearance. The couple were apparently killed by a Filipino man and his Filipina girlfriend at Okada's suburban Manila home on June 28 after an unspecified argument with Okada's girlfriend, Tovera said. The male suspect's father later loaded the bodies into the trunk of his car, while another man drove the bodies to the riverbank, about 70 kilometres (43.5 miles) east of Manila for disposal two days later. Tovera said the three men who confessed to dumping the bodies at sea were pricked by conscience.” [Ibid]

    Canadian Kills Two and Shoots Self in Cebu Courthouse

    Foreign also explode in murderous rages in the Philippines. In January 2013, Jhunnex Napallacan wrote in the Inquirer Visayas, “A physician and a lawyer were killed while a female prosecutor was wounded when a Canadian national went on a shooting rampage inside the Palace of Justice about 8:30 a.m., the authorities said. Police said the suspect, identified as John Pope, shot himself when he reached the ground floor of the building located inside the Capitol compound in Cebu City. He expired about two-and-a-half hours later at the Cebu Doctor’s Hospital. [Source: Jhunnex Napallacan, Inquirer Visayas, January 22, 2013 ==]

    “Regional prosecutor Fernando Gubalane said Pope, who police said was armed with a .38-caliber pistol, shot lawyer Juvian Achas and Dr. Rene Rafols inside Branch 6 of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities located on the fourth floor. On his way down he met Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Maria Theresa Casiño on the stairs near the court’s Branch 1 and shot her in the head, Gubalane said. Achas and Rafols died on the spot, Gubalane said, adding that Casiño was fighting for her life at Chong Chua Hospital in Cebu City. ==

    “Gubalane said Pope was facing several cases at the Palace of Justice filed by his neighbors in Barangay (village) Guadalupe, Cebu City. Gubalane said investigators had yet to determine why Pope shot Casiño and the two others. He described Casiño as a “good prosecutor” and friendly. ==

    Image Sources:

    Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Philippines Department of Tourism, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.

    © 2008 Jeffrey Hays

    Last updated June 2015

  • william said

    I have a question, I am considering travelling to the Philippines this December going to the Cebu area and possibly the island of Siquijor, since they are close to northern Mindanao and Zamboanga Peninsula, does anyone know of any instances of problems for tourists (ie: kidnapping, terrorism, pirates) in those areas? The Australian gov’t posted ‘Recent attacks have also created concerns that these groups have the capability to target locations frequented by tourists in southern Palawan, southern Negros or Siquijor’ . I am aware of the risks when travelling and of course nothing can be guaranteed but would like some more information.

    Thank you.

  • chin said

    I'm from Mindanao,particularly in Zamboanga and living in cebu right now, Cebu is a nice place to visit and a lot of foreigner is living here too. I could see no threat for Foreigners to visit here..about Sijuijor, I've never been there eversince, but I have friends who visited there and they had fun and safe. Mindanao is a nice place. Not all place there are dangerous but better be alert, there is no such place is secure but what matters most is we always ask God to cover and be with us always to guide and direct us wherever we go.

  • chin said

    I'm from Mindanao,particularly in Zamboanga and living in cebu right now, Cebu is a nice place to visit and a lot of foreigner is living here too. I could see no threat for Foreigners to visit here..about Sijuijor, I've never been there eversince, but I have friends who visited there and they had fun and safe. Mindanao is a nice place. Not all place there are dangerous but better be alert, there is no such place is secure but what matters most is we always ask God to cover and be with us always to guide and direct us wherever we go.

  • steve said

    I live most of the year in Davao near Puan and have been to Cabadbaran, Byugan, Butuan City, and Hinatuan all on mindanao, never having a problem.Also went to Eden Park. The people have a lot of respect and are very friendly. Luzon around Bataan Maravelis Orani also never had a problem. Mt. Samat is awesome to visit. Just pay attention to your surroundings as I do being from Miami anyway. Good luck in your travels.

  • simon said

    I have been bullion , sultan kudarat, davao etc , and have not had a problem , i walk the streets on my own , so am always confused by comments.

  • john turner said

    Sorry i was in all no go zone in philippines,and i was there from march to october15, never had any problems what so ever,i drove car,i walk the streets,i lives in mids of muslims n non muslims area 24 hours 7 days a week with male,female,transgender people too the most beautiful people i ever been with,yes i understand poverty,is very deep,n sorry to say catolic christan do sale body even thier mothers fathers daughter,never took they advantage need knowledge,help solve poverty in whole philippines helphelphelp

  • Duane said

    I am an American, getting married in Feb 2016 near Tagum, I will be in kapalong, After reading the travel advisories I am scared and am thinking on cancelling our wedding, my fiance who is a filipina is upset. what do I do?

  • Bryan said

    Duane, I'm guessing that you met your wife-to-be online? If you've been "dating" for at least a year and have met her family (seen them multiple times on cam), I would go for it. None of us are going to live forever and if it's your time, it's your time. If you love her enough to make a lifetime commitment to her, wouldn't you do anything it takes to be with her? In my thinking, if you wouldn't, you don't really love her. I would, without question, go to her. Follow the advise of others on this site of where to go and what to do and what not do. Meet her and marry her somewhere else in the Philippines if you don't feel safe. Can you blame her for being upset? You have given her a hope and a dream and made her fall in love with you then want to walk away. How would you feel if the tables were turned? Obviously, it is your decision, but if you have faith and belief in God, and in your relationship with her, it's an easy decision. If I were you, I would get airfare, hotel reservations, make an appointment with the doctor for a backbone transplant, and go. Good luck in your decision. God speed to you both.

  • Bryan said

    Duane, I'm guessing that you met your wife-to-be online? If you've been "dating" for at least a year and have met her family (seen them multiple times on cam), I would go for it. None of us are going to live forever and if it's your time, it's your time. If you love her enough to make a lifetime commitment to her, wouldn't you do anything it takes to be with her? In my thinking, if you wouldn't, you don't really love her. I would, without question, go to her. Follow the advise of others on this site of where to go and what to do and what not do. Meet her and marry her somewhere else in the Philippines if you don't feel safe. Can you blame her for being upset? You have given her a hope and a dream and made her fall in love with you then want to walk away. How would you feel if the tables were turned? Obviously, it is your decision, but if you have faith and belief in God, and in your relationship with her, it's an easy decision. If I were you, I would get airfare, hotel reservations, make an appointment with the doctor for a backbone transplant, and go. Good luck in your decision. God speed to you both.

  • mike said

    I am a white (Caucasian) European and have continuously resided in Mindanao for the past 8 years. I am sick of reading all the scare-mongering words emitted from the self-appointed travel experts who may (or may not) visit the Philippines regularly. Let these same bores write about New York, New Orleans and oh so many other USA places. then of course there is Paris, Brussels, Rome, Kosovo, Ibiza, London etc etc. So you recommend others to stay clear of many places in the Phils Well I highly recommend you guys to seal your lips and stay away from Philippines. Go where its guaranteed to be safe haha where is that place

  • PhilSylvester said

    we don't single out Philippines, we make strong recommendations about travel safety to lots of places - including the ones you name. You are right in that some extent no place is safe - have a look at all the sharp knives in your kitchen - it's about how you behave around those potential threats. We are making people aware of the threats so they can arm themselves to avoid trouble.
    As a resident you've obviously learned ways to behave that lower your risk, a recent visitor may not have those skills.
    While you may say it's scare-mongering, and I'd happily publish details you could provide about how to travel there safely, the official government assessments are not so forgiving. Please have a look at DFAT (Australia) as an example
    They say: "Central and western Mindanao, including the Zamboanga Peninsula, and the Sulu Archipelago and southern Sulu Sea area, do not travel
    We advise against all travel here due to the very high risk. If you do travel, you should typically seek professional security advice. Be aware that regular travel insurance policies will be void and that the Australian Government is unlikely to be able to provide consular assistance."
    Seems pretty clear to me, and this is government level advice - hardly scare-mongering.

  • Victor Siroky said

    I have a need to travel this coming Saturday to Cagayan do Oro, then take a private van to Iligan City to stay there for two days. Then back to CGO Airport on Monday by private van driven by the family friend. I am from Europe and have travelled to many parts of Europe, Brasil, Mexico. How safe with this 2-day trip be for me to Iligan City??

  • noel said

    @victor -have been to cdo and illigan a few times ,visit maria christina falls and tinago falls in illigan ,if there is a way for you to message me -then would ahppily share any info

  • noel said

    @victor -have been to cdo and illigan a few times ,visit maria christina falls and tinago falls in illigan ,if there is a way for you to message me -then would ahppily share any info

  • Graham said

    I stayed in Dipolog for a month,June to
    July,l saw NO trouble,talked to foriengers
    who lived there,they felt it was safe.
    There was a kiddnapping of a pizza shop
    owner in Dipolog buy a gang last
    October.l still think it is safe to go
    there,l will go back in three months for
    a month,my girlfried lives there.

  • noel said

    @john -kinda impossible to answer as you dont give any information about yourself ,what type of business etc and what your definition of safe is?

  • Darren said

    I been to Davao three times and really it is a safe city to visit, I have tested everything from small shop venders to taxi drivers and Never! I been charged more than the Local price. This is legit as my gf and brothers also gave me the cost before I headed off myself for the day.
    The fact that crime is low and traffic is decent compared to Manila and Cebu, I would recommend Davao to anyone that likes Peace and Honest People.
    Just do not be a criminal and you will be safe.
    But do not think that you can just roam around Samal Island freely at night since there was a kidnapping in October. But if your using common sense you wont sit on a Yacht attracting these people and just blend in with the people instead of showing off what you have. Just be nice in the City and you will be treated with so much respect.

  • David said

    It's like anything else. If you act afraid, they will be all over you. If you act stone cold confident and in control, they will move on to someone else. Try it -- walk through a barangay being a badass sometime. You won't run into any trouble at all.

  • Bruce said

    For william, Siquijor along the coast is mostly owned by Europeans but lodging operated by the people who were born there. Last time I was there we had no plan just got of the ship from Durmaguete and walked into town hoping to find lodging. Nothing doing but a 3 wheel driver told me he could maybe help but was not sure. No charge and a ride to his sister who ran a place for a European and as luck would have it she had a reasonably priced room, air con included, for us due to a no show. We shared communal meals or not as we wished and enjoyed advice on how to experience the island. First night we had nothing to contribute but we got feed anyways, after that we made sure contributed our share. She gave us good advice on renting scooters and what to watch out for as we motored around. Mostly what corners to slow down before entering and what were the accessible beaches and items of interest to view like churches. My wife is a Philippine born Canadian and as such is a devout Catholic. I am a Anglo Saxon descendant, generations old naturally born Canadian but to the people of the Philippines we are both foreigners. That is what you need to remember if you are traveling with a Philippa who lives abroad. She will be identified as a foreigner so don't count on that to protect you. Spatial awareness is your friend just like at home. When it was time to go home I asked for the same fellow that brought me there and when we arrived at the dock paid him triple the usual fee and told him how much I appreciated his caring for a fellow human with a problem. My experience is that you are safe in Siquijor. Heck, they even have a Jehovah Witness hall in the center of the island. One day after we got back to San Mateo Rizal (our house in the Philippines) there was an earthquake that destroy the airport in Durmaguete. That day we flew back to Canada feeling very lucky.

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Author: Phil Sylvester

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