MALACAÑANG on Thursday maintained that traveling to Mindanao is safe amid warnings issued by the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia to its citizens. In a press briefing at the Palace, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo, citing assurances from Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, said it was “natural” for foreign governments to be concerned about the welfare of their citizens, but noted that the Dec. 31, 2018 Cotabato City bombing was an “isolated case.” Mr. Panelo said, “We cannot blame them for having that perspective because there was a bombing in Cotabato. But that is only an isolated case. So insofar as the National Defense Secretary is concerned, it’s very safe to travel to Mindanao.” — Camille A. Aguinaldo