EU extends thoughts, prayers to victims of Cotabato blast, ‘Usman’
MANILA, Philippines — On the first day of the new year, European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen extended his thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Cotabato blast and Tropical Depression “Usman.”
“On the first day of the New Year my thoughts and prayers go to the victims, their families and loved ones, of the bombing in Cotabato yesterday and the victims, their families and loved ones, of the tropical depression of Usman,” Jessen said in a statement on Tuesday.
Jessen said the new year ahead “brings new hope to us all” and that the EU stands together with the country’s government “in its efforts to make the country more peaceful and safer.”
He noted EU’s full support to the ongoing peace process in Mindanao and underscored the importance of “peace and reconciliation” in moving forward.
“I frequently visit Cotabato and am impressed each time by the progress made, and the commitment of my counterparts to build a better future for the region,” Jessen said.
“Peace and reconciliation is the way forward. Violence and hatred will never succeed,” he added.
Days before Filipinos welcomed the new year, the Usman triggered deaths due to landslides and flash floods in Eastern Visayas and the Bicol Region.
READ: Death toll from ‘Usman’ surges to 68
Meanwhile, on New Year’s Eve, two people were killed and 34 others were wounded in an explosion outside a shopping mall in the southern city of Cotabato. /ee
READ: At least 34 hurt, 2 dead in Cotabato City mall blast — PNP
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