20 May One thing we could be proud of today
JUAN SAYS: In all fairness to our country, with all its drama and corruption and officials who won’t just quit, we still have that compassionate side especially when it comes to helping those who are in need. Filipinos, no matter where we are in the world, would be the first to give a hand, and this was particularly true for the Vietnamese refugees we’ve helped during World War II. “The Philippines has extended humanitarian assistance to … ‘boat people’ and had even established a processing center for Vietnamese travelers in the 70s,” said Herminio Coloma, a spokesman for president Benigno Aquino. We are assisting boat people who are mostly children. Juan will continue to look for ways to help as we are still waiting for them to arrive in the country.
“We shall continue to do our share in saving lives under existing and long-standing mechanisms pursuant to our commitments under the [UN] convention.”
It would be a long and unlikely journey for the migrants – who are believed to be in the region of the Andaman Sea – to make it to the Philippines on their rickety boats with little food and fuel.
However, the statement raised hopes for a breakthrough in the crisis in which nearly 3,000 refugees and migrants from Burma’s persecuted Rohingya minority group and Bangladesh were rescued off Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.