August 20, 2017
The Philippines joined on Sunday the international community in condemning the terrorist knife attack in Finland on Friday that left two persons dead and several others, including four foreigners, wounded.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), at the same time, confirmed that two other Filipinos based in Italy were among those injured in Thursday's terrorist incident in Barcelona, bringing to four the total number of Filipinos that it is extending assistance to.
In a statement, the DFA said no Filipinos were among the four foreign nationals wounded in the stabbing incident in Turku, a financial and cultural center that once served as capital of Finland.
“We condemn any act that seeks to undermine peaceful and tolerant societies," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said as he conveyed the sympathies of the Philippine Government to the Finnish government and to the families of the victims.
Cayetano said the Philippine Embassy in Norway, which has jurisdiction over Finland, remains in close coordination with the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in Helsinki and is closely monitoring the situation there.
"We urge our 3,500 kababayans in Finland to stay vigilant and to contact our Honorary Consulate General in Helsinki or our Embassy in Oslo if in need of assistance," he said.
Quoting a report from Embassy Chargè d'Affaires Maria Elena Algabre, Cayetano said the knife attack in Turku was carried out by an 18-year-old man who was shot and taken into custody.
The DFA chief also said Chargé d'Affaires Emmanuel Fernandez of the Philippine Embassy in Madrid is now in Barcelona to look into the condition of the 43-year-old Filipina mother who was seriously injured in Thursday's terrorist attack and assist in locating her seven-year-old son.
"Our Embassy is now on the ground in Barcelona and is working with our Honorary Consulate tonextend all possible assistance to our kababayan who remains in serious condition at a hospital there," he said.
"We are all praying that she would swiftly recover from her injuries and that we would be able to help find her missing child," he added.
The mother, who is married to a British subject, and her son are based in Australia and are both Philippine passport holders. She sustained injuries during the terrorist attack in Barcelona's Las Ramblas tourist district that left at least 13 people dead and more than 100 others injured.
Cayetano said Fernandez was also able to visit the four Irish citizens of Filipino descent at a local hospital and reported that they are recovering well.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola, meanwhile, said the Philippine Consulate General in Milan will be assisting the two other Filipinos who were injured in Barcelona.
Arriola said the two, who immediately left Barcelona after the incident, sustained some bruises and will be accompanied to a hospital by Consul General Marichu Mauro for checkup and debriefing on Monday. DMS
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