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Aquino extends sympathy to victims

President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday extended his sympathy to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings that left at least three people dead and at least 140 wounded. He made his statement even as other officials said no Filipinos were hurt in the bombings. “The administration joins the international community in extending our deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones in the bombing of the Boston Marathon,” deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said in a statement. “At this moment, scores are being treated for injuries, some of them quite life-threatening. We offer our prayers and best wishes for their recovery. “The President personally conveys a message of deep sympathy, concern, and solidarity with the people of Boston, where he and his family had found refuge during martial law and which so many Filipinos call home.” Valte said the Aquino administration was condemning the bombers “who have cast such a pall of loss and suffering in the city of Boston and the entire United States.” She called Boston “a city of bravery, openness and liberty.” “This tragedy will not change these essential truths and points of pride for this great city,” Valte said. Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano, Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, and House Assistant Majority Leader Karlo Nograles condemned the bombings and hoped the people behind them would be arrested. “We commiserate with the families of those who died in this latest terror act as we pray for the recovery of all those injured by the blasts,” Albano said. “This cowardly act was obviously committed by people whose sole intention is to sow chaos and instill fear among the citizens of the world,” Sarmiento said. “We hope US authorities could swiftly bring to justice those who were responsible for the bombing so that their brutality will be ended,” Nograles said. The Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said no Filipinos were killed or hurt in the explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line. “We have good news as far as the Filipino contestants are concerned,” Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez said. “So far, there are no reports of any Filipino casualty in the bombings that happened in Boston.” Fil-American triathlete Arland Macasieb safely finished the marathon, saying he crossed the finish line, near where one of the two bombs exploded, an hour before the explosions. Macasieb, president of the Filipino Filipino-American Triathlon Club, said there were 18 Filipinos who were listed as qualifiers in the marathon. “There are actually 18 Philippine runners including myself that I know of, and all I believe are safe,” he said. Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs said Tuesday it will issue no travel advisory to the United States following the bomb explosions in Boston. “We don’t have any travel advisory for that but, in general, when things [like this] happen in a particular place, we advise our people to be vigilant,” Hernandez said. He said some 18,700 Filipinos were living in Massachusetts, where Boston is. With Maricel V. Cruz, Vito Barcelo, Peter Atencio and Sara Susanne D. Fabunan 
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