More South Koreans found dead in the Philippines, Seoul says

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (UPI) — Three people, at least two of who were identified as South Korean nationals, were found dead near a small Philippine city on Tuesday.

All three individuals were found with gunshot wounds, with their wrists or legs bound with electric tape, South Korean news service Newsis reported on Thursday, local time.

The bodies were discovered in a sugar cane field near the city of Bacolor in Pampanga Province, about 50 miles from Manila, at around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Of the victims, two men and a woman who were in their 40s and 50s, one man had had his legs tied with electric tape, and the woman’s wrists were bound.

No arrests have been made and the case is under investigation.

Violent deaths of South Korean nationals in the Philippines have been on the rise in 2016, with the death count up to 6 this year.

In February a South Korean man in his 60s was found stabbed to death outside his suburban home in Manila, and in May a South Korean missionary in his 50s was found murdered in a city north of the capital.

In 2015 a total of 11 South Korean nationals were killed in the Philippines.

There are estimated to be about 100,000 South Korean expatriates living in the country, according to Seoul’s foreign ministry, and the Philippines is a popular tourist destination for South Koreans.

But the news of the deaths, and the ongoing government crackdown targeting drug traffickers, has some South Korean travelers rethinking their plans.

One South Korean commenter said online, “The Philippines is becoming increasingly frightening,” according to local newspaper Donga Ilbo.

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