Philippines denounces Belgium attacks: 'This is cowardice'
MANILA, Philippines – “Such senseless acts of violence that specifically target innocent people are the very definition of cowardice, and have no place in any civilized society.”
The Philippines used these strong words on Wednesday, March 23, to denounce the terrorist attacks in Belgium that killed at least 35 people. (READ: IN PHOTOS: Brussels explosions and aftermath)
The terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the bombings that ripped through the Brussels airport and a metro train on Tuesday, March 22. (READ: Huge manhunt after Brussels attacks horror)
In a statement on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Aquino administration, “together with the entire Philippine nation, stands in solidarity with the Belgian people.”
“During times of great challenge, Belgium has never failed to extend its support and kindness to the Filipino people,” Lacierda said.
“In the same spirit of friendship, we share in the sorrow of those who have lost loved ones; our administration is likewise in full support of the Belgian government and its people as they recover from these tragedies and pursue justice for the victims,” he said.
Lacierda added, “The Philippines, along with its many partners in the international community, will continue working to make such acts of extremism a thing of the past.”
President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday ordered tighter security in airports and seaports, among others, after the the explosions in Belgium.
This comes as thousands of Filipinos prepare to travel to their provinces for the Holy Week break.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said no Filipino has been reported hurt or killed due to the Belgium bombings.
The DFA advised overseas Filipinos “to exercise caution at all times and to contact the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate for any security concerns.”
“The Philippine Embassy in Brussels may be contacted through the following telephone numbers (+32) 0488 609177, (+32) 02 340 3373, (+32) 02 340 3374,” the DFA said. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com