DFA raises alert level 2 in Bangkok

Posted at 01/23/14 3:10 PM

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday raised crisis alert level 2 for Bangkok and surrounding areas, which has been placed under a state of emergency by the Thai government.

"The Philippine Embassy in Bangkok continues to advise Filipinos with essential travel plans to, and those residing in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand to avoid the rally sites and large gatherings and to refrain from taking part in the protest or other political activities," the DFA said in a statement.

The DFA said that Alert Level 2 is issued when there are real threats to the life, security, and property of Filipinos arising from internal disturbance or external threat.

Under Alert Level 2, Filipinos in the capital of Thailand and nearby areas are instructed to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places and prepare for evacuation.

"While there has been an effort to maintain a state of normalcy in the Thai capital, the situation remains fluid and volatile particularly in anti-government protest areas," the DFA added.

The embassy is ready to extend necessary assistance to all Filipino nationals in Thailand.

The Thai government declared a 60-day state of emergency from Wednesday hoping to prevent an escalation in protests now in a third month. That decree will face a fresh test on Thursday when popular anti-government firebrand Suthep Thaugsuban leads a march through the capital Bangkok.

A leading pro-government activist was shot and wounded on Wednesday in Thailand's northeast, a stronghold of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, in what police said was a political attack, adding to fears the violence could spread.

Nine people have died and dozens wounded in violence, including two grenade attacks in the capital last weekend. - With Reuters