PH warns vs traveling to Thailand
MANILA, Philippines – Raising crisis alert level one, Philippines warned its nationals on Tuesday, January 14, not to travel to Thailand due to political unrest in the Southeast Asian country.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also advised Filipinos already in Thailand “to exercise vigilance and take necessary precautions.”
These precautions include “avoiding the protest sites and refraining from showing support for any of the parties involved.” (READ: PH tells nationals to shun red, yellow in Thailand)
DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez explained, “Alert level one is issued when there are valid signs of internal disturbance in the host country.”
Hernandez said, however, that “despite the large numbers of demonstrators” in protest areas, the situation in the capital, Bangkok, “remains peaceful and under control.”
Embassy staff continue to do the rounds in Bangkok.
“The team's latest report indicated that business and commercial activities are undisrupted, and modes of transportation remain operational,” Hernandez said.
Mass rallies in Thailand aim to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and curb the political dominance of her brother, former premier Thaksin.
On Monday, January 13, vast crowds swamped the streets of Bangkok as protesters took over the main business and shopping districts of the city of 12 million in a carnival of color, but without a policeman in sight.
They erected stages at several sites, blocking arterial roads and setting up tents and soup kitchens to sustain their noisy rallies dubbed the "Bangkok shutdown," which entered a second day on Tuesday without any violence.
The few cars and motorcycle taxis allowed through gleefully flouted one-way systems, but there were no obvious signs of wider chaos.
Authorities said 20,000 police and soldiers were deployed across the capital, but they were largely invisible. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com