Families grieve over death of Filipinos in road accident

DUBAI — Families of the Filipinos who died in last Sunday's road accident have expressed grief at the tragic death of their loved ones and requested their employer and the Philippine consulate-general in Dubai for the early repatriation of their bodies and shipment of their assets to the Philippines.

By Lily B. Libo-on (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Fri 18 Jul 2008, 1:40 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:13 PM

In an exclusive phone interview with Khaleej Times, Efren Nombrado, 49, father of Ethel, said that he and his wife went to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Cagayan de Oro City, nearest to their home place in Malaybalay, Bukidnon in Mindanao, south of Manila, to process the Certificate of Acceptance for the repatriation of their eldest daughter's body with the request that her employer, Abu Dhabi National Hotels/Compass, deliver the body in their province.

His wife, Thelma, 55, was still shocked and sobbed on phone because Ethel was to turn 25 by December. She said that Ethel had always wanted to go abroad, working first in Taiwan and then left for Dubai on August 7 last year.

Ethel's father said she had repaid her bank loan fully just last month, part of which was used to pay the recruitment fee to the manpower agency that got her employment in UAE.

A similar request was made by Eugenia Samson, 50-year-old mother of Cecilia Samson, from Nueva Ecija in the eastern side of Manila in Luzon. She said that the family may have difficulty bringing her body to their home town unless the employer helped them.

Her eldest daughter, Sonia, with whom Cecilia lived before going to Dubai, said that she received a call from a certain Jo Anne, who claimed to be co-worker of Cecilia, around midnight of Sunday about the death of her sister.

"She was a very kind sister. She always sent money to us and for the education of our brother, Benjie. She even sent money to me and to her elder brother for our kids," she said.

Her death came as a shock to us because just last Wednesday, days before her death, she rang us to tell us she would not send us money this month because she would buy things to be sent to us in a door-to-door delivery by August.

"Now she is dead and her death is a great loss to all of us," she cried on phone.

Efforts, however, to contact the family of the third Filipino victim, Michelle Rabago, failed.

In response to their verbal request, Allen Morgan, chief executive officer of ADNH/Compass Middle East, told Khaleej Times that the company would not only repatriate the bodies but also send two of its staff to escort them.

"We will repatriate their bodies up to the place where their families would like them to be laid to rest. Our staff escorting them will travel to their home provinces and cities for their bodies to be handed over to their families," he said.

Morgan also reiterated that the company is hoping to repatriate their bodies either on Saturday or Sunday if all the formalities like embalming and death certificates are done by then. "We are taking our responsibilities seriously and local representatives are talking individually to each family involved," he added.

Meanwhile, Philippine Consul-General Benito B. Valeriano said the consulate would make sure that their personal belongings are sent back together with their bodies to the Philippines. "If the families want them to be brought up to their home town, we will make official request to their employer, which is coordinating with the UAE authorities for their early repatriation.

lily@khaleejtimes.com


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