The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday confirmed that three Filipinos were among the 295 killed when a Malaysian Airlines jet was shot down in eastern Ukraine.
Charles Jose, Foreign Affairs spokesman, confirmed the inclusion of three Filipinos in the MH17 incident based on the information released by the Malaysian and Dutch authorities.
MH17 was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Malaysia when it was shot down in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region in Ukraine on late Thursday.
The names of the passengers–including 154 Dutch nationals, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians, six British, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos and one Canadian–have yet to be released, Jose said.
Aside from these 280 passengers, some 15 Malaysian crew members also perished in the crash.
The Foreign Affairs official said that the Philippine Embassies in The Netherlands and Malaysia are “coordinating with authorities and Malaysian Airlines on securing information.”
Jose added that the department and the embassies are ready to extend help to the families of the Filipinos.
The Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was believed to be shot down by what is called a Buk Missile, a ground-to-air, 16-feet long rocket that has a speed of about 2,685 miles per hour. The jet was flying on an altitude of 33,000 feet when the missile hit it.
Initial reports said Kiev separatists, aided by Russian intelligence, were responsible for the attack, but the group said it has no capability to do so and pointed at a Ukrainian air force jet instead.
BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON