GMA News Online

Malacañang condemns Mumbai attacks, says similar incident unlikely in RP

November 27, 2008 12:37pm
MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Thursday condemned the coordinated terrorist attacks staged in India’s financial capital that had already left over 80 people dead and hundreds more injured.

“We condemn these terroristic attacks against mankind and we will be united with the entire Indian nation and the rest of the world in its quest to end terrorism the soonest possible time," Deputy Spokesperson Anthony Golez said, adding that Filipinos are one in mourning with the families of the victims of the sudden attacks.

A group of suspected militants have already owned up to the armed assault, but local authorities in India have yet to confirm this.

QTV’s Balitanghali said that tension erupted Wednesday night when the attackers struck at two luxury hotels in Mumbai. Subsequent assaults were made in a popular restaurant, hospitals, and even a crowded train station.

The suspected militants have also taken hostage a still undetermined number of people in the hotels that were taken over. The television report said that the gunmen seemed to have been targeting foreigners, especially American and European tourists.

Indian authorities have already said that of the scores of people dead, nine belonged to the suspected assailants and 11 came from the country’s police force.

But just like the situation in Thailand, the government also assured that the turmoil in India would not likely be replicated in the Philippines.

“Terrorism can strike anywhere, at any time… But just because it happened in India , it does not mean that it could happen in the Philippines," said National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales.

He said that their continuing monitor of the local situation proved that there is currently a “low terrorist threat" in the Philippines. “Magagaling ang operatives natin. Very low ang threats sa Philippines," Gonzales said.

He reiterated that the country has anti-terrorism mechanism in place and the concerned agencies are always on alert and prepared for any eventuality.

Gonzales assured that the government is strictly observing the mechanisms devised to combat terrorism, even as concerned agencies remained on alert and prepared for any eventuality.

Asked to confirm if Filipinos living in India had been caught in the turmoil, Gonzales said: “We are still looking at that and still checking." - Mark Merueñas, GMANews.TV
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