India condoles with Philippines after deadly Mindanao quake

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2019 06:18 PM

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind talks to President Rodrigo Duterte during their bilateral meeting in Malacañang, Oct. 18, 2019. Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Indian President Ram Nath Kovind condoled with the Philippines on Friday after a powerful earthquake that struck Mindanao left at least 5 people dead and over 60 others hurt.

Kovind, who is here for a state visit, extended his condolences to President Rodrigo Duterte during their bilateral meeting at Malacañang Palace.

“I convey my deepest condolences on the loss of life caused by the earthquake in Mindanao on Wednesday,” Kovind said.

“I hope the affected people are able to begin their normal lives soon,” he added.

The earthquake struck about 22 kilometers southeast of Tulunan, North Cotabato Wednesday night, opening cracks in buildings and homes, and sending panicked residents onto the streets.

Many residents were still camping out on roads and evacuation centers as aftershocks persist.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, right, and wife Savita are welcomed by Philippine government officials as they arrive at Manila's international airport on Oct. 17, 2019. Basilio Sepe, AP

During the meeting, Kovind said New Delhi places the “highest importance” to its ties with the Philippines.
 
“We attach the highest importance to our relations with the Philippines which are based on shared values of democracy, rule of law, and celebration of diversity,” he said.

Kovind is the third Indian president to visit the Philippines since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the 2 countries in 1949. The last was Abdul Kalam in 2006.