Philippines intensifies search for missing British woman
Philippine authorities on Tuesday ordered stepped up search operations for a British woman who went missing during a business trip in Manila a month ago amid suspicions of foul play.
The National Bureau of Investigation, the investigating arm of the justice department, said relatives and friends of Carole Day had put up a 200,000 peso (about 4,500 dollar) reward for any information about her whereabouts.
"She seems to have vanished into thin air and she remains missing," bureau spokesman Cecilio Zamora told AFP. "We are intensifying our efforts in trying to locate her."
"We still don't have a clue where she is, and we are asking everyone who may have vital information to help in the search."
Day, a 56-year-old interior decorator and mother of two who is based in Hong Kong, arrived in Manila on September 10 to visit her business partner at a Manila showroom they operated.
Police said she was last seen at the establishment two days later and had told her business partner she planned to take a flight to either the central Philippine island of Cebu or to Phuket in Thailand.
The immigration bureau said there were no records of her having left the country.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper, citing a senior National Bureau of Investigation official, reported bloodstains had been found at the showroom where she was last seen, raising the possibility of foul play.
When asked about the report, Zamora said he could not comment on specific details of the investigation.
A spokeswoman for the British Embassy in Manila said they were coordinating closely with the police as well as Day's family in the search effort.
A proliferation of unlicensed firearms has led to a high incidence of crimes in the Philippines, and foreign tourists frequently become victims of robberies or kidnappings.
Also last month, two British pensioners were separately attacked and killed by robbers in the northern city of Angeles and the central island of Negros.
© 2010 AFP