Tuesday, February 9, 2016

13 Filipino workers killed in Iraq hotel fire identified

The 13 Filipino women workers who died in a hotel fire in Iraq have all been identified, the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad said Monday, as it clarified earlier reports that 14 Filipinas died in the incident.
“Kahapon, natapos namin yung pag-identify ng mga remains nung ating mga sinawing palad ng mga kababayan. Right now, we’re in the process of notifying their next of kin,” charge d’affaires Elmer Cato said in a “News To Go” interview.
The Filipinas were among the 21 killed in a fire that struck the Capitol Hotel in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan autonomous region on Saturday.
Cato said the regional government of Kurdistan mistakenly identified one of the fatalities as a Filipina.
“Nung dumating kami nung Saturday at binilang namin yung mga remains na nandoon, 13 lang and in-explain nila sa amin na yung isang biktima ay akala nilang Pilipino ay hindi pala...Tinanggal na nila sa listahan kaya naging 13,” he said.
The envoy said they hope to fly the remains to the Philippines as soon as possible.
“Sa normal process, it would take dalawang linggo bago maiuwi pero sa palagay namin, dahil sa assurance ng regional government ay mapapaaga natin yung pag-repatriate ng remains,” he said.
The Philippine government has placed most of Iraq under Alert Level 4, which calls for mandatory repatriation. Kurdistan, however, remains only under Alert Level 1 due to a more “stable security situation.”
“Yung Kurdistan ay host sa pinakamaraming mga OFWs sa Iraq. Estimate natin is 2,000 Filipinos siguro, 1,500 ay nasa Kurdistan region,” Cato said. Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/ALG, GMA News

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