Duterte expressed sympathies for Netherlands tram killings

Published March 19, 2019, 9:03 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has offered his sympathy to the Netherlands following the tram shooting that left three people dead.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

“Before anything else, we would like to offer our condolences of yesterday’s attack where three of your citizens were killed,” the President told the new Netherlands Ambassador to the Philippines Saskia de Lang during the presentation of credentials of foreign envoys in Malacañang Tuesday.

“We are very sorry but the world today is a very violent one. We just have to contend with it,” Duterte added.

The Dutch ambassador thanked the President for his concern, adding they are still shocked by the incident.

“Thank you very much for your kind words and your compassion for what happened in The Netherlands. We are still shocked and we are still looking for the motives of the perpetrator,” she told Duterte.

Three people were killed and five were injured when a gunman opened fire on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht Monday. The police reportedly arrested a Turkish-born suspect in connection with the shooting.

The President, meantime, hailed the strong relations between the Philippines and the Netherlands as he welcomed the new ambassador to the country.

He added that the country was honored by De Lang’s assignment to the country, wishing her a successful stay.

“We have a very strong relationship both in trade and commerce and everything and shared values so it would not be very hard but easy for us to understand each other,” he said.

The ambassador said two countries were working together to enhance trade and investments, sustainable solutions in Manila Bay as well as in the fight against human trafficking and child abuse.

“I think that there are many more areas where we can work together and that is what I would like to do in the years ahead to seek more common ground in the political areas, in governance and rights, and the economic areas,” she said.

She also commended the President on the Bangsamoro peace process including the appointment of the interim government and assured assistance from the international community.

“I would like to congratulate you on this huge achievement in the peace process where you succeeded where others tried for many years and this inclusive peace process is highly commendable,” she said.

“I think the international community is standing ready to assist and make sure that now that the peace process is in this phase that the peace will also be won with the civil population,” she added.