Pinay victim in Iraq fire was a supportive niece –uncle
A relative of one of the 13 Filipinos killed in a hotel fire in Iraq's Kurdistan region has appealed to President Benigno Aquino III to expedite the repatriation of the victims' remains.
"Ako po'y nananawagan sa Pangulong Aquino na sana mapadali ang uwi ng mga OFW na namatay sa Iraq lalo na ang pamangkin ko," said Remigio Tumali, 58, a farmer in Dinalupihan, Bataan.
Tumali's niece, Maria Angela Tumali, and 12 other Filipinos were among the 17 people killed when a fire struck Capitol Hotel in Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan region, on Friday evening.
Tumali said he learned of his niece's death on Saturday night.
According to Tumali, Maria Angela was the only child of his late sister, who died eight years ago. Aged 25, Maria Angela was born and raised in Dinalupihan before she moved to La Union to live with her aunt.
Tumali said Maria Angela, who grew up under his care and who was like a sister to his children, had promised to help him financially. In fact, just last January, she sent money to help him start a small piggery business.
"Kasunod daw ay padadalhan ako ng pambili ng baka," Tumali said.
He added Maria Angela also promised to support her cousins.
"Tutulungan daw niya mga anak ko na turing niya ay mga kapatid upang umunlad. Ang isang anak ko gusto niyang mag-aral sa TESDA. Karami niyang pangarap, pangako sa amin pero ngayon hindi na matutupad," Tumali said.
Tumali said Maria Angela will be buried next to her mother in a public cemetery in Barangay Pag-asa in Dinalupihan. —Ernie Esconde/KBK, GMA News