Metro Manila, Philippines— Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo explained why the Philippines abstained from voting in a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution calling for “immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities” between Israel and militant group Hamas

In a media briefing on Monday, Manalo said the proposed resolution did not include the terrorist attacks last Oct. 7.

“There was one issue that was not reflected and that was the mention of the terrorist attacks on October 7 where in our case, four Filipinos were confirmed to have been killed during the attacks,” he said.

Manalo explained the Philippine government felt that it was important for the resolution to include the terrorist acts since Filipinos were killed and two more remain missing.

The DFA chief said the government assumes that two missing Filipinos may have been taken hostage.

Despite the abstention, Manalo said Manila remains supportive of the humanitarian efforts of the United Nations in Gaza.

“We will continue to support the efforts of the United Nations to put a stop to the suffering in Gaza and to hope that we can open a humanitarian corridor,” he added.

The DFA chief also noted that abstaining from voting does not mean opposing the resolution.”Please note that abstention does not mean you are against the resolution, we just felt that there was something important to the Philippines that should have been mentioned in,” Manalo explained.