President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has personally extended his condolences and sympathies to the relatives of the two Filipinos killed in Israel, and promised them full government assistance.

“Mahirap itong nangyari sa ’yo. Lahat ng assistance na kailangan mo gagawin ng gobyerno. Lahat … Pati ‘yung pagbalik sa bangkay… at pagka magkaroon ng chance, magulo pa rin kasi at nagbobombahan pa…” President Marcos said during a phone call with one of the relatives of the victims on Wednesday.

The President had a chance to talk with the grieving relatives after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed that two Filipinos were killed during the Saturday rampage of Hamas militants in Southern Israel bordering Gaza.

“Asahan mo. Basta’t ‘yung government nandiyan, will be — tutulungan ka. Lahat ng kailangan na nga ninyo, ‘yung family mo pati, pati ‘yung assstance para pagpunta rito at lahat ‘nung financial assistance na binibigay talaga natin para ‘yung mga nabawian ng buhay na OFW,” the President told the grieving relative.

The President advised the relatives to be in constant contact with the Philippine embassy in Tel Aviv for an update in the situation there.

*He admitted talking with the grieving relatives was the most difficult task. “Last (Wednesday) night, I made two of the most difficult phone calls I’ve had to make as President. The nation is one in grieving with the families of the Filipinos who were killed in the attacks on Israel.”*

*“We will provide the utmost support to the families they were taken from,” the President said. “This tragedy will not deter our spirit. We will continue to stand for peace.”*

Marcos made an assurance that the government is doing all it can to ensure the welfare and well-being of Filipinos in Israel amid the ongoing conflict, as well as in repatriating those who want to go home.

“Iyong Tel Aviv naman, bukas pa baka sakaling puwede tayong — may magawa tayo doon sa Tel Aviv airport, bukas pa. Baka magpalipad tayo ng eroplano. Maaari ka nang sumama,” Marcos said during the phone conversation.

“Pero, inaantay namin ‘yung permiso ng Israeli (government), dahil ‘yung Israeli ang magsasabi sa amin kung kailan puwede ng magpalipad para sunduin ang mga Pilpino. Iyon ang inaayos namin ngayon. Asahan mo. Basta’t gagawin namin ang lahat. Gagawin namin ang lahat at sa lalong madaling panahon.”

On Thursday, the Philippine consulate described one of the victims as a 33-year-old married female from Pangasinan who has been working in Israel for six years. The other victim is a 42-year-old male from Pampanga.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Medel Aguilar said in a Palace press briefing that they already prepared a plan, which will involve dispatching C-130 and C-295 military aircraft should the armed forces is to be called to assist in the humanitarian mission.  |PND