Aquino: PH stands by Belgium on terror
The Philippines Wednesday expressed solidarity with Belgium, denouncing terrorism as “the very definition of cowardice,” after Islamic State (IS) bombers killed around 35 people and wounded hundreds on Tuesday in a strike at a Brussels airport and a metro train seen as an attack on the symbolic heart of the European Union.
“The Aquino administration, together with the entire Philippine nation, stands in solidarity with the Belgian people after the reported attacks on numerous locations in Brussels. Such senseless acts of violence that specifically target innocent people are the very definition of cowardice, and have no place in any civilized society,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.
Lacierda remembered Belgium’s “support and kindness to the Filipino people.”
Belgium was among the first countries to dispatch a medical team to Palo, Leyte province, after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) pummeled Eastern Visayas in November 2013.
The Belgian humanitarian mission included a fully equipped mobile hospital and more than two dozen medical practitioners treated more than a thousand survivors.
“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,” Lacierda said.
“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,” Lacierda added.
At a press briefing Wednesday, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government had always implemented strict security measures that primarily served as “deterrents and detection measures.”
Coloma said among these were the heightened visibility of uniformed security personnel and enforcing rules that strengthen the security at transportation terminals, an example of which is conducting vehicle inspections at the approach to airport terminals.
Coloma also mentioned the X-ray scanning and inspection of all people, luggage and hand-carried items at the entrance to airport terminals.
“These [measures] are not normally done in other countries. Even before the terror attack in Brussels, we have already been implementing these security measures to ensure the safety of the public and of travelers in our country,” Coloma said.
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