The Philippine government on Sunday said it was ready to give assistance if there were Filipinos hurt or killed in the terror attacks in Paris Friday.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs continues to coordinate with Philippine Embassy in Paris, with Ambassador Maria Theresa Lazaro. They are the ones monitoring the situation there,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., during an interview over state-run radio station dzRB.
The DFA said no Filipino casualty has so far been reported in Friday’s coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris.
The government in Paris also called upon the people there to heed the advise of local authorities, he said.
“So far there are no reports of Filipinos affected by the incident in Paris. Our embassy continues to monitor closely the situation and stands ready to extend assistance to Filipinos who may need it,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose said on Saturday.
There are around 48,000 Filipinos in France, according to a 2013 data by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, while more than 10 million are scattered across the globe, making them vulnerable to security threats, calamities and domestic conflicts in their host countries.
France President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency following the unprecedented terrorist attack that was staged days before France was to host a global climate conference.
France expressed gratitude to the Philippines for its expression of sympathy following last Friday’s deadly attacks that left more than 100 people killed in Paris.
“We are deeply touched by the heartfelt expressions of support in the Philippines extended by President Benigno S. Aquino III, the national and local authorities, the people of the Philippines,” the French Embassy said in a statement.
“France will always fight against extremism and stand for the values of democracy and human rights enshrined in our national motto ‘Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite’ which was coined in Paris centuries ago,” it said. “Today we are all Parisians.”
Hollande is set to address parliament on Monday and declared three days of national mourning, the embassy said. Sandy Araneta