PH urged to help China quake victims amid territorial row
MANILA, Philippines — Despite diplomatic differences, the Philippines should quickly send a humanitarian mission to China to help victims of the devastating earthquake that rocked its province over the weekend, Senator Ralph Recto said on Tuesday.
“As a neighbor with deep historical and economic ties, the country should send its own humanitarian contingent and find ways to help in the rescue and even in the post-quake effort,” Recto, an administration ally, said in a statement.
Diplomatic differences on how to approach the issues on the West Philippine Sea and the recent grounding of a Chinese fishing boat, he said, should be set aside for now to reach out to a neighbor in dire need.
“China must be feeling the weight of losing precious lives and rehabilitating damaged villages. We could unburden it a bit with our compassion and direct help,” said Recto, senior foreign relations panel member.
“I believe this is not the time to be insensitive and indifferent to what China is undergoing right now. We are humanely obligated to extend assistance to their people,” he added.
Recto said finding survivors was a major rescue work for Chinese rescuers and volunteers, which the Philippines could provide some “muscle” and “experience” after going through a series of natural disasters in the last five years.
The senator likewise urged Filipino-Chinese business groups to coordinate with the government if they wish to extend their help to earthquake victims in China.
At least 192 people have been reported dead, 24 missing and nearly 11,500 were injured from the earthquake that hit the Chinese province of Sichuan.
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