THE PHILIPPINE government on Friday condemned the attack in Barcelona, Spain, that killed 13 and injured more than a hundred, including four Irish nationals of Filipino descent.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which was followed about eight hours later by a similar one in Cambrils, a city 120 kilometres south of Barcelona, where an Audi A3 car rammed into pedestrians, injuring six civilians – one of them critical – and a police officer.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella, in a statement, extended condolences to the kin of the bereaved.
“We are one with the peace-loving people of the international community in condemning this latest attack in Spain on Thursday,” Mr. Abella said.
He assured that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Philippine Embassy in Madrid and the Honorary Consulate in Barcelona, “is closely monitoring the situation and has been in touch with the authorities and leaders of the Filipino community.”
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano, in a separate statement, said: “The Philippines condemns in the strongest terms this disturbing act of terror perpetrated by extremists against innocent men, women and children in Barcelona.”
Citing reports from the Philippine Honorary Consul in Barcelona, the DFA said that the attack involved a vehicle that plowed through pedestrians in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas tourist district.
The DFA did not identify the members of the Irish family said to be of Filipino descent who were among those injured in the attack. The Department, however, assured that representatives from the Philippine Honorary Consulate have gone to the hospital to check on them.
According to Honorary Consul Jordi Puig Roches, the mother and her daughter have been released from the hospital, while the father and a son remain under observation.
The DFA added that the “Philippine Embassy in Madrid and the Honorary Consulate in Barcelona have been in touch with authorities and leaders of the Filipino Community to make sure that the 20,000 other Filipino residents of the northeastern Spanish city are safe.” — Kristine Joy V. Patag with AFP