DFA absolves embassy of wrongdoing in cadaver mix-up
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday confirmed that the family of a deceased OFW from Israel has received the wrong body in the Philippines, but said the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv should not be faulted for the mix-up.
At a press briefing, DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said the embassy can not be faulted for the switch since its main responsibility is to provide the necessary documents to the funeral company, which assigns it to the corresponding casket and remains.
"The embassy can only view the remains at the morgue or hospital before it is transferred to the refrigerated room of the funeral parlor where the remains are sealed in a casket," Jose said.
"The embassy does not have access to this area because the funeral parlor has the responsibility to seal it for transit to the Philippines," he added.
Based on initial findings, the family of Fernando Peralta, the OFW who died of a heart ailment, informed the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv on June 4 that the body that they received does not belong to their deceased kin.
Based on initial findings, Jose said the embassy learned that the Israeli funeral and repatriation service company that handled the shipping of Peralta’s remains made a mistake in handling the documents of the deceased by inadvertently sticking them to a different casket.
"This resulted in the shipment of the body of a foreign national to the Philippines instead of that of the Filipino worker," Jose said.
Peralta’s body is currently stored at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv pending the processing of its release in the shipment to the family in the Philippines.
“The embassy is closely coordinating the family of the deceased Filipino national to ensure the immediate repatriation of their kin’s remains,” Jose said.
He added that the funeral company is already arranging the return of the foreigner's body from the Philippines to its correct destination. —KBK, GMA News