Dec 192014

Saying the holiday season is a prime time for pickpockets and thieves, the United States Embassy in Manila on Friday advised its Americans in the country to take precautions against theft, robbery, and even violent crimes.

In a security message, the embassy said it has received “regular reports” of US citizens being victims of both violent crime and theft, burglary and robbery.

“The Embassy wishes to remind US citizens that we are in the holiday season which is a prime time for pickpockets and thieves. US citizens in the Philippines should remain aware that while you may become a victim simply because you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, foreigners may also be targeted because they are perceived to be affluent,” it said.

US citizens were advised to review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates.

They were also advised to maintain a high level of vigilance and take steps to enhance their personal security.

The embassy also reminded its Americans to avoid demonstrations even if they are generally peaceful.

“However, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations,” it said.

It also recommended carrying a means of communications at all times.

US citizens in trouble can always call the Embassy at (02) 301-2000 and ask to speak to the American Citizen Services unit during business hours or with the Embassy Duty Officer after duty hours. Joel Locsin/JDS, GMA News

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