MANILA, Mar 7 (Mabuhay) –Vice President and presidential candidate Leni Robredo on Sunday condemned the violence in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, stressing that it is a “moral imperative” to oppose bullying and unprovoked aggression.

“I condemn the violence that has been inflicted upon the people of Ukraine, the violation of its sovereignty, and the threat that now hangs above all the innocent lives in the region,” Robredo said in a statement.

“It is a moral imperative to stand against bullying and unprovoked aggression, especially given the reports of civilians and residential areas deliberately targeted in the course of this invasion,” she added.

The Philippines on Wednesday appealed for an immediate end to the unnecessary loss of life in Ukraine due to its conflict with Russia, and called on the parties involved to forge a peace accord.

Robredo said she stands with this decision of the Philippine government, supporting the international community in condemning the invasion of Ukraine.

She also praised the courage and resilience of Ukrainians amid the tension in their country.

“I stand in admiration of the Ukrainian people’s courage and resilience, and am proud of their efforts to defend freedom and a rights-based order—ideals that the Filipino people share,” she added.

Robredo previously said that the Philippines would not go to war against Russia if it invades Ukraine, but the security of the Filipinos in Ukraine should be secured by activating the embassy response and other alliances to provide assistance to them.

She then thanked the diplomats and other public servants who are working to secure the safety of Filipinos in Ukraine.

At least 13 Filipinos from Ukraine arrived in the Philippines on March 1.

Meanwhile, 21 Filipino seafarers evacuated from a ship in Odessa, Ukraine amid the Russian invasion of that country are expected back in the Philippines on Tuesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

The DFA advised those who need repatriation near the Moldova and Romania borders to contact the Philippine Embassy in Budapest.  (MNS)

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