In a deeply human gesture of empathy and solidarity, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reached out to the grieving families of two Filipinos who tragically lost their lives amidst the Israel-Hamas conflict. He candidly described the phone calls he made as “two of the most difficult” moments during his presidential tenure, revealing a leader with a compassionate heart.
With heartfelt sincerity, he shared on Instagram, “I made two of the most difficult phone calls I’ve had to make as president. The nation is grieving with the families of the Filipinos who were killed in the attacks on Israel.”
His words echoed the nation’s collective sorrow as he continued, “We will provide the utmost support to the families they were taken from. This tragedy will not deter our spirit. We will continue to stand for peace.”
Amidst the grief, the President assured that the government would extend its unwavering support to the bereaved families, recognizing their immense loss.
How Filipinos in Israel are
One of the poignant moments came during a phone call when President Marcos advised the families to maintain regular contact with the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv. “The government will help you, give you everything that you and your family need – assistance in going here plus financial assistance for [families of] overseas Filipino workers who lost their lives,” he conveyed, offering a ray of hope amidst the darkness.
The Philippine Embassy in Israel confirmed the identity of the victims – a 42-year-old man from Pampanga who fell into the hands of Hamas militants, and a 33-year-old female caregiver from Pangasinan who tragically lost her life alongside her employer. While a third Filipino’s reported death is still awaiting verification, three others remain listed as missing, marking a chapter of heartache.
Israel remains home to approximately 30,000 Filipinos, with an additional 100 in the Gaza Strip. The embassy’s cautious approach refrains from advocating mandatory repatriation, considering that the fatalities occurred on the very day of the attack. The Department of Migrant Workers has, for now, advised Filipinos in Israel to stay put, as the nation grieves.
He assured Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss of this commitment, emphasizing that “the Philippines will always stand with Israel in this war against the inhuman terrorist attacks by Hamas.”
In this unique moment, President Marcos not only displayed the leadership of a nation but also the compassion of a human being, sharing the weight of loss with those who have suffered in this conflict.