Canadian ambassador extends condolences to PH over Marawi crisis, says ready to provide aid

Image from Embassy of Canada in the Philippines' Facebook account
  • Canadian ambassador to PH extended condolences to those affected by Marawi crisis
  • He said Canada ready to reach out and assist refugees
  • He also said his gov’t just waiting for go-signal from PH to begin assistance

MANILA, Philippines  –  Canadian ambassador to the Philippines John Holmes extended his condolences to those affected by the ongoing crisis in Marawi City even as he vowed Canada’s continued support for its programs in Mindanao.

“Government of Canada extends its heartfelt condolences to the government and the people of Marawi who have been affected by this horrible tragedy, the Philippine News Agency quoted him as saying. “In terms of our aid program, Mindanao has been our focus the last few years and continues to be our focus. We have different programs that are already operating in Mindanao and one of them.  is we continue to contribute to the Mindanao trust fund. So that will continue.”

Holmes also emphasized his government’s willingness to extend assistance to refugees and evacuees in Marawi. He added that they were just waiting for the go-signal from the Philippine side to begin their assistance which he stressed was humanitarian and non-military in nature.

“We stand ready to help. Normally in terms of assistance, after a humanitarian or in this case a person-made disaster, we wait for instructions and request from the government of the Philippines,” he said. “We stand ready to work with the Philippines in that regard. We don’t normally… we wouldn’t be sending troops or anything like that but we do capacity building, exchanges of information, things like that. That’s been ongoing.”

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), more than 250,000 people have been displaced by the four-week crisis and left their homes due to intense fighting between government forces and the Maute group.