MANILA, May 25 (Xinhua) — The Philippine government joined Sunday other countries in calling for the immediate restoration of democracy in now military-run Thailand.

In a statement, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Charles Jose said that as a friend and fellow member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Philippines hopes the Thai people will be able to resolve the latest political challenge peacefully through dialogue and in the spirit of national harmony.

“The Philippines likewise hopes that the present authorities will honor their commitment to respect democratic principles and human rights at all times and will restore civilian authority,” he said.

The Thai army declared martial law early last week and after a couple of days announced coup d’etat. The recent developments came months of political turmoil in the Southeast Asian country.

The Thai military junta also dissolved the senate, imposed curfew and banned gatherings of more than five people.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in an interview over a state-run radio station that the DFA, through its Embassy in Bangkok, continues to monitor the situation to ensure the safety of Filipinos there.

He noted this was the reason why the DFA raised alert level to Thailand to 2, which requires Filipino nationals staying there to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places, and prepare for evacuation, if necessary.

The government has estimated that there are about 16,000 Filipinos living and working in Thailand.

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