Palace says it's safe to visit PH despite kidnapping in Mindanao
Malacanang said on Friday it is safe for foreigners to visit the Philippines despite a kidnapping incident in Zamboanga del Sur.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it just happened that "accidents" do take place, such as the abduction of British businessman Allan Hyrons and his Filipina wife, Wilma.
"Of course, it's safe. However, accidents do happen," he said when asked if it is still safe to visit the Philippines.
He reiterated that if not for martial law in Mindanao, more kidnapping incidents could have happened.
"Given that martial law (declaration in Mindanao) has been two years already and apparently the number of crimes were almost zero, except this new (kidnapping incident) - it means (martial law imposition) is effective," said Panelo, also chief presidential legal counsel.
"You can just imagine if there's no martial law, there could be more (abduction incidents). But just the same, the authorities are doing their level best to protect the inhabitants there," he added.
The Hyrons couple was abducted by armed men on October 4 from their beach resort in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur.
Authorities were still trying to rescue them and arrest the suspects. Celerina Monte/DMS