The Philippines are suffering a rash of urban violence just as President Benigno Aquino III is trying to shore up foreign investments and restore Filipinos' confidence in their government.

The brazen evening robbery of a jewelry store in one of the world's largest malls, SM Megamall, shocked residents in Manila, the capital. So did another armed robbery in which thieves exchanged fire with security guards.

The Southeast Asian nation of 7,100 islands is trying to leave behind its old image of a volatile, chaotic place. A record 4.3 million tourists visited last year. But crime is worrying residents and giving morning radio shows a reason to poke fun at the country's tourism slogan, "It's more fun in the Philippines."