PNoy, MILF condemn terror attacks in Paris

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 November) – President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) issued separate statements Saturday and Sunday condemning the series of coordinated attacks in Paris on Friday night, November 13, that left at least 129 persons dead and 350 others injured.

“The Philippines and its people stand in solidarity with the people of Paris and all of France, in this time of deepest sorrow and the gravest outrage against the perpetrators of these crimes,” Aquino said in a three-paragraph statement issued November 14.

“Terror and brutality have plunged the City of Light, Paris, into the darkness of horror and grief” and these atrocities “demand a united voice from the world in condemnation and grief,” he said.

Aquino noted that when the country needed help in the wake of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), “France and her people stood shoulder to shoulder with the Philippines… We stand with France now, in the firm belief that the light must never dim in Paris.”

The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks in a five-paragraph statement issued in French and Arabic. An English translation of the statement, published by the International Business Times, quoted the ISIS as saying “eight brothers wearing explosive belts and assault weapons targeted areas carefully chosen in the heart of the French capital.”

One of the attackers was a French national, CNN reported.

Aquino said that in the Philippines, “we are taking all necessary precautions. The PNP is on alert and our security forces are assessing the situation, including the continuing evaluation of our security procedures. There i no credible threat registered at this time but let us all be cooperative and vigilant.”

He said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has been directed to render all necessary assistance to our countrymen in France.

The DFA in a statement also on November 14 condemned “unequivocally the horrific terror attacks on Paris” as “cowardly assaults on innocent and defenseless people.”

“The world must stand together against violent extremism. There are no reports of Filipino casualties so far. Our Embassy stands ready to assist Filipinos in France. We continue to monitor the situation very closely,” the DFA said.

In a four-paragraph statement e-mailed to the media at 4:11 a.m. Sunday, the MILF, through peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal, said “these blind, indiscriminate acts of violence deserve nothing but condemnation.”

“This is unacceptable. The MILF rejects such acts of terror against humanity and all peace-loving peoples,” it said.

 

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. May we all find our way through these troubled times and emerge with a stronger resolve to pursue peace for all peoples in all parts of the world,” the statement read.

The statement also “condemn(ed) in same strong terms the violence against civilians in Palestine, in Myanmar, and elsewhere in the world.”

French President Francois Hollande declared a national state of emergency and vowed to wage a “merciless” fight against terrorism.

Friday’s attacks came 10 months after the series of attacks in early January where 18 persons were killed in attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a Jewish supermarket and a policewoman on patrol. (MindaNews)

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