Filipinos in Thailand told to avoid protest areas

Posted at 01/12/14 11:40 AM

A man rests in the anti-government protesters' encampment near the Democracy monument in Bangkok on Saturday. Photo by Damir Sagolj, Reuters

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Embassy in Thailand is closely monitoring the situation in that country as anti-government protesters gear up for a planned shutdown of Bangkok on Monday.

The embassy had earlier advised Filipinos to stay away from protest areas and to avoid wearing red and yellow – colors which are associated with the warring parties in Bangkok.

“I think we’ve already issued several reminders to the Filipino community there in Thailand, especially in Metro Bangkok, at least the city, as well as five provinces that are adjacent to Bangkok and that the guidelines, or at least the reminders are continuously updated by our Embassy or the post there,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

“They’ve been asked, I think, to limit to or at least to avoid areas where there are still protests that are taking place,” she added. “So they’ve also been issued additional guidelines para hindi sila ma-mistake na nakakasali doon sa mga protesta.”

Protests in Bangkok took a dangerous turn on Saturday when gunmen opened fire on anti-government protesters, injuring seven people.

Protesters are gearing up for an attempt to shut down the Thai capital and halt an election scheduled in February.

For more than a month, protesters have been demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, whose brother, former leader Thaksin, has been accused of nepotism and corruption and for destabilizing the Thai democracy.

Rumors of an impending coup have intensified. The army has attempted 18 coups in the past. This time it has stayed neutral and Prayuth has said he is not taking any sides. -- Reports from ANC, Reuters