By Darryl John Esguerra

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. (File Photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. condoled the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash in a mountainous terrain near the Iran-Azerbaijan border, and said the Filipinos stand with the Iranian people in this “difficult time.”

The helicopter was also carrying Iran Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and six other passengers and crew.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the people and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially to the families and loved ones of the late President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, and their companions in this tragic incident,” Marcos said in a statement posted on social media Monday.

“The Filipino people mourn with you and will keep you in our prayers during this difficult time,” he added.

The helicopter carrying Raisi reportedly made a hard landing due to weather conditions after the Iranian president attended a dam inauguration ceremony in the Iran-Azerbaijan border.

Raisi, long seen as a potential successor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and the country’s foreign minister and their companions, were found dead at the site of a helicopter crash Monday after an hours-long search.

Raisi was 63. (PNA)