Remains of two Filipino fatalities in Abu Dhabi blast set for repatriation — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 11, 2020   •   162

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday (September 10) reported that the remains of the two Filipinos who died in the gas leak explosion on August 31 in Abu Dhabi, UAE are now being prepared for repatriation to the Philippines.

The repatriation was set after all matters were cleared by authorities. 

Meanwhile, embassy officials and DFA regional representatives along with personnel from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are now working closely with the families for the acceptance of the remains.

The DFA-DOLE composite team recently visited one of the families in their hometown, while Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana met with the widow and brother of the other deceased Filipino in Abu Dhabi, the DFA said.

The embassy arranged the viewing of the remains by family members, and is currently monitoring discussions between the families of the deceased and their employers. The families are also being assisted in the processing of the death benefits they will be receiving from the Philippine government.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Quintana spoke by phone to a Filipino survivor who was injured from the accident and now recovering well in the hospital.

The embassy expressed gratitude to the UAE government for ensuring that the affected Filipinos are cared for. 

The embassy also thanked members of the Filipino community whose prayers and expressions of support lent healing and comfort to the families of the victims.

DFA finalizes repatriation for 11 stranded Filipino seafarers onboard Ocean Star 86

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 25, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is finalizing the repatriation of the remaining 11 Filipino seafarers stranded in Chinese waters onboard Ocean Star 86 since March 24.

The DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are already coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in China. OWWA said the seafarers will be able to return home by next week.

“Mayroon na po napipintong repatriation either this coming week or first week of October ng ating mga mahal na stranded seafarers sa China (Our stranded seafarers in China will be repatriated either this coming week or first week of October). We are now providing assistance to the seafarers,” according to OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.

Based on the information received by OWWA, the Ocean Star 86 is docked in the mainland and the Philippine Embassy in China has been providing assistance to the seafarers. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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OFW accused of murder in Saudi Arabia returns home after release – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipina migrant worker who was charged with murder in Saudi Arabia has returned home following her release from prison, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement, the DFA said Rose Policarpio arrived in Manila on Tuesday after spending almost six years in jail for a crime she did not commit.

“Ms. Policarpio’s eventual acquittal is an example of the government’s commitment in protecting and promoting the rights of our OFWs. With her new lease on life, we wish her success in her future endeavors,” DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.

Policarpio, 31 years old, was deployed as a food server in Saudi Arabia in 2013. A few days after her arrival in Riyadh, she was imprisoned for murder after being accused of killing her employer.

She had consistently denied the crime and was eventually found not guilty by the lower court, the verdict of which was sustained by the court of appeals, leading to her eventual release from detention and repatriation.

The DFA said that through its Legal Assistance Fund (LAF), it provided for the services of her legal counsel. The Philippine Embassy also regularly visited her in jail and provided her with welfare assistance.

After securing her release, the DFA settled her incurred immigration penalties and secured her exit visa.

“This is a vindication of Ms. Policarpio and a clear declaration of her innocence. This is also a testament that the DFA and its people are willing to go the extra mile in order to protect and safeguard the rights of our kababayan wherever they are in the world,” Arriola said.

The DFA said Policarpio will be reunited with her family once COVID-19 health protocols are complied with.

Filipinos in Mali told to prepare for evacuation as DFA raises alert level 2

Robie de Guzman   •   September 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday advised Filipinos based in Mali to limit their movements and prepare for possible evacuation as it raised alert level 2 amid the political unrest in the country.

“Filipinos in Mali are advised to coordinate with the Philippine Embassy in Rabat, Morocco for further advisories and may contact them at +212-694202178 or via email at rabat.pe@dfa.gov.ph,” the DFA said in a statement.

The department said it raised the Alert Level 2 in Mali last Sept. 18 due to the current political and security situation in the country.

“Alert Level 2 is issued when there are threats to the life, security, and property of Filipinos arising from internal disturbances, instability, and/or external threat,” the DFA said.

Under this alert level, Filipinos are instructed to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places, and prepare for evacuation, it added.

Political unrest ensued in Mali after it installed a transition government following a coup that forced its president to resign.

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