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No policy statement on Syria air strikes for now – Malacañang

Roque says government's focus is on safety of Filipinos in Syria
By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 12:26 PM April 16, 2018

Malacañang has deferred to issue a policy statement on the air strikes led by the United States (US) against Syria in retaliation to the country’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippine government for now is focused on ensuring the safety of Filipinos in Syria.

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“Sa ngayon po number one na binibigyan ng importansya ay ‘yung safety ng ating mamamayan na nasa Syria,’ Roque said in a Palace briefing on Monday.

“So inaatupag na po muna natin ‘yung kanilang kaligtasan atsaka na po tayo gagawa ng policy statement pagdating mismo doon sa isyu ng pambobomba ng Syria,” he added.

This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows smoke, rising after U.S.-led airstrikes targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus in retaliation for the country’s alleged use of chemical weapons early Saturday, April 14, 2018. Syrian air defenses responded to the joint strikes by the United States, France and Britain. (SANA via AP)

He said, however, that the government would issue a statement “soon” as the administration was trying to balance the issue.

“Tayo po ay miyembro ng United Nations, we are bound by the UN charter [and] Chapter 7 says the use of force must be by way of self defense or when authorized by the UN Security Council,” he said.

But the Palace official said there were developments in international laws on the “responsibility to protect.”

“So binabalanse po ng gobyerno natin ang ganyang mga pananaw,” he said.

China and Russia, a close ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, have condemned the latest US attacks on Syria.     /kga

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TAGS: air strike, China, Conflict, Diplomacy, foreign relations, Malacañang, Philippines, Russia, Syria, US
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