Pinoys in Bangkok urged to take precautions after bombing
The Philippines on Tuesday called on Filipinos in Bangkok to take extra precautions following the bombing that killed at least 21 people, which reportedly includes a Filipino national, and injured over 100 others.
“We are urging Filipinos to take precaution for their personal safety, don’t go to crowded places and places frequented by foreigners,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose told a press briefing.
Jose said Manila is still studying the possibility of raising a security alert warning in Thailand, which is home to 14,000 to 15,000 Filipinos.
“We are assessing security situation in Thailand to determine our next course of action,” he said.
The Philippine Embassy in Bangkok, on the other hand, is closely coordinating with Thai authorities to verify the reported Filipino casualty.
Assuming there is a Filipino casualty, Jose said the DFA is ready to extend assistance, including the repatriation of remains.
An embassy consular team, he said, has made rounds in Bangkok hospitals since last night to check on Filipino casualties, but did not find any Filipino injured or killed in the attack.
“The embassy has not reported any Filipino casualty at this time,” he said, adding even Bangkok authorities have not released an official list of all the casualties.
"Dun sa ulat ng Embassy last night, lahat nung casualties ay hindi pa identified yung mga nationalities, so it's difficult to say na talagang may Filipino nga," he said.
"Talagang kailangan may identification; for example, kung turista siya ang nationality niya (nasa) passport niya, kung OFW siya, may some kind of identification," he added.
The attack near the Erawan Shrine – a popular tourist site - is Thailand’s first major attack since the Thai military seized government control last year, bringing back security concerns in the Southeast Asian nation that has seen years of on and off political unrest.
No group has claimed responsibility over the pipe bomb that killed at least 21 people at the Erawan shrine in Bangkok, but Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan was earlier reported to have said that the attack was "intended to destroy the economy and tourism" of the capital.
'Apparent intention to sow terror'
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario denounced the attack, calling it “horrific” with an “apparent intention to sow terror.”
“We condemn this act in the strongest terms,” Del Rosario said in a statement. “The Philippines stands in solidarity with the government and people of Thailand at this trying moment.”
The Philippine Embassy in Bangkok, he said, is in coordination with the hospitals in the area to verify if any Filipinos are among those who perished or have been injured and to provide assistance.
“Our people in Bangkok have been advised by our Embassy to remain calm and to observe necessary precautions to ensure their personal safety,” Del Rosario said. — with Rie Takumi/RSJ, GMA News