PH Embassy monitoring Navy Yard shooting spree

September 17, 2013

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

WASHINGTON DC-US flags fly at half-staff in Washington DC, a day after, yet another shooting rampage that brought fear and confusion at the Washington Navy Yard Monday.

It’s a military facility just 3 miles away from the White House – 4 miles from the Philippine Embassy, where dozens of Filipinos are among its 3,000 employees.

13 people were killed, including the lone gunman, 14 others injured. Many of them are still being treated in nearby hospitals.

Reports say the gunman Aaron Alexis walked into building 197 and open fired from above an atrium overlooking his victims.

Authorities say Alexis was killed after an encounter with security. His motive is still not clear at this time. For hours the military facility was on lockdown.

The Migrant Heritage Commission says dozens of Filipinos had to leave their cell phones and cars behind after they were released from a few hours of lockdown — and they were all safe.

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia junior says the Embassy closely monitored the situation and is relieved to report that no filipinos were reported hurt or killed at this time.

“On behalf of the Philippine Government, I extend our condolences to the families of the victims and we shall offer our prayers for them, The Philippine Embassy continues to monitor the situation checking with Authorities to make sure that No Filipino Nationals were involved, CUISIA “As of this morning we have not received no reports that any Filipinos were involved among the casualties in yesterday’s events,” Cuisia Jr. said, “I instructed Consul General Ariel Penaranda to continue to monitor the situation checking with authorities and the Hospitals to find out if there were any Filipinos among the casualties.

Community leader Eric Lachica says the shooting at the Navy Yard is yet another lesson learned in terms of ensuring mental health and security goes hand in hand and should be a priority in the work place. “It’s a lesson learned that,We have to lookout for our fellow co-workers who are going through emotional difficulties, we should be very concerned about them, we shouldn’t be ashamed to talked about it and counsel them to seek help, professional help. The shooter had lots of emotional and psychiatric problems,” said community leader Eric Lachica.

U-S Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel orders a World Wide Security Review At All U-S Military Installations to make sure security measures are In place.

“You might have the best security policies in place and safeguards, even with that nakalusot si Alexis sa security, because some people didn’t follow the policies,” Lachica said, “They have to review that.”

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