The Philippine Department of Tourism said on Wednesday the country remained safe for visitors.
It followed widespread reporting of data from the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group indicating a total of 42 cases of abduction – linked to scenarios involving either bricks-and-mortar casinos or Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) – for the first 11 months of this year.
The majority of the victims and suspects was Chinese nationals, the Philippine News Agency reported earlier this week, citing police anti-abduction squad spokesperson Jowel Saliba.
The news agency carried the tourism department’s subsequent clarification.
“We will not promote a place where we know it’s not safe… If something happens to even a single tourist, it destroys the whole Philippines” market, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Tourism Secretary, was cited as saying on the sidelines of an event in the national capital Manila.
The Secretary (pictured in a file photo) added that her department had renewed an agreement with the Philippine National Police whereby additional police are being stationed in major travel destinations across the country.
A video purportedy showing a woman being dragged into a vehicle in Makati in Metro Manila has been widely circulated on social media as evidence of a recent kidnapping witnessed by members of the public. GGRAsia was not able to verify the content of the video.
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