Vice President Sara Duterte on Thursday urged Filipinos to call for a ceasefire and for peaceful negotiations amid the escalating violence in the Middle East.
In a video message, Duterte, who is also the Education Secretary, expressed concern the conflict in the region has impacted on civilians, including children.
“Ako ay nananawagan sa aking mga kapwa Pilipino na ipahayag ang isang tigil putukan at dalhin ang usapin ng kapayapaan sa mesa,” she said.
Duterte also called for unity among the parties in the country in issuing a collective appeal for lasting peace in the region to end the suffering of civilians.
“Ating ipanawagan ang pagkakaisa ng mga partido upang maglabas ng kolektibong pananawagan para sa pangmatagalang kapayapaan at wakasan ang pagdurusa at kahirapan na nararanasan ng mga sibilyan lalo na ang pangangalaga sa kapakanan ng mga bata,” she said.
The Vice President also said the armed conflict affects not only the security of Filipinos in Israel but also the welfare of their families in the Philippines relying on them for financial support.
She said Filipinos must brace for the war’s impact on the economy.
“Kaakibat nito, binibigyang-diin ko ang paghahanda ninyo mga kababayan ko sa posibleng kahirapan na dulot ng pandaigdigang kaguluhan,” she said
“Kinakailangan nating tiyakin ang seguridad sa pagkain na maaaring dumating dahil sa ganitong sitwasyon ng hidwaan. Sa pag-alalang ito, nais kong bigyan-diin ang kahalagahan ng pagsuporta sa mga mapayapang solusyon na makakatulong sa pangmatagalang-kapayapaan,” Duterte added.
Hamas militants carried out their deadliest attack in Israel’s history on October 7, when gunmen rampaged through Israeli towns, killing more than 1,000 people and taking scores of hostages to Gaza.
Israel has retaliated with air strikes on Gaza that have razed entire districts as it prepares for a possible ground offensive.
Latest death toll showed at least 3,785 Palestinians have been killed and 12,493 wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7, according to a Reuters report.
Of the total death toll, 1,524 were children and 1,000 were women.
At least four Filipinos were confirmed dead from the conflict.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. earlier said that the Philippines stands with Israel following the deadly attacks by Hamas.
For its part, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament adopted a resolution “condemning” the “continuing acts of violence” by Israel against the Palestinians and by the Hamas group against the civilians of Israel.—LDF, GMA Integrated News