MANILA,— President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday sent his ‘deepest sympathies’ to the families of the victims of an apparent suicide bombing attack at a pop concert in the English city of Manchester and expressed the Philippine government’s solidarity with the United Kingdom in the war against terrorism.
“Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte sends his deepest sympathies and concern to the families of the dead and wounded in the Manchester incident, as well as appreciation for the excellent handling by security forces,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement sent to reporters.
Duterte is currently in Russia for a state visit.
“”We are in solidarity with the United Kingdom in addressing and combating violent extremism,” Abella said.
The attack, which the UK government is treating as a terror incident, happened Monday night when a suicide bomber struck while thousands of fans were streaming out of Manchester Arena after a concert by US singer Ariana Grande.
Manchester police said that at least 22 people were killed in the attack, including some children, and another 59 were reportedly wounded following the explosion.
In the meantime, Philippine security forces assured the security of international events being held in the country following the Manchester incident.
Grande is set to perform in Manila on August 21 although it is now not clear if the event will still push through.
Meanwhile, the Philippines, which chairs this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is hosting various high level regional meetings which will culminate in a November summit between ASEAN and its partner countries that include the US, China, Russia, Japan, the European Union and India among others.