MANILA, February 15, 2018 — The Philippines today expressed its sympathy to the United States following the shooting deaths of 17 students and the wounding of several others in a high school outside Miami, Florida, on Wednesday.
“We are deeply saddened over the loss of so many young lives in this shooting incident in Parkland, Florida,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said in a statement.
“Our hearts reach out to the families of those who lost their lives in this horrible tragedy.”
In its report to Secretary Cayetano, the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. said it has not received any report of any member of the Filipino Community being among the casualties of the deadly shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, located one hour northwest of Miami.
Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez said initial reports indicated that an expelled student armed with a high-powered rifle entered the school building and opened fire on teachers and students.
The suspect, who is in police custody, also wounded 16 others in the incident, which is now considered to be one of the worst school mass shooting incidents in US history.
Romualdez said the Embassy is in touch with Honorary Consul Henry Howard in Miami who is coordinating with members of the Filipino Community in Broward County where the incident took place.
According to Romualdez, leaders of the 15,000-strong Filipino Community have informed Howard that there were no Filipino or Filipino-American initially reported as among the casualties.
Romualdez said there are 2,800 members of the Filipino Community in Parkland.
“We join our kababayans in Parkland, Florida and the rest of Florida and the United States in prayers for the victims of this tragic incident,” Romualdez said.