Philippines travel advice

The security director of the University of Southern Mindanao was killed by motorcycle-riding men in
Kabacan, North Cotabato last Tuesday, 29 April. Ronald Lopez, also a faculty member of the University,
was driving his motorcycle behind the vehicle of the University Vice President, veterinarian Cayetano
Pomeras, going to the motorpool of the University at around 7:30 in the evening when he was shot.
Another report says that Lopez was aboard a vehicle where Pomeras was riding. As they pass the
University Machinery area, a motorcycle passed through the vehicle and one of the passengers shot
Lopez. Pomeras was unhurt in the incident.

The motive to kill Lopez is still being determined by the police investigators. Francisco Garcia, the
University President, already asked the authorities to deploy more police within the 6,000-hectare
campus in order to deter the possibility of repeating such incident. North Cotabato Governor Emmylou
Mendoza already ordered full investigation into the incident.

The University has experienced recent bombings and shooting incidents during the past months. This is
amid the conflict within the presidency of the said state university.

RECOMMENDATION

  • Look out for suspicious looking vehicles following your path.
  • When passing to known conflict areas and troubled places, prepare necessary precautions such as wearing security gears, getting security escorts, and the like.
  • Avoid having conflicts or misunderstandings with individuals or officials suspiciously maintaining a private army.
  • Use unmarked vehicle and do not follow a certain route everyday when travelling.
  • Exercise extreme precaution in travelling to areas where shooting has been happening.
  • Update your itinerary when an incident has happened in the planned route.

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