MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday said that the bodies of four Filipinos killed in the siege by Islamic militants of a remote natural gas plant in Algeria would be repatriated in the next few days.
In a press briefing, Assistant Secretary and DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez made the announcement but said that the date of repatriation, as well as the itinerary, had not yet been finalized.
The DFA had earlier said that eight male Filipinos had been confirmed dead in the siege. It had declined to disclose the identities of the fatalities, saying it was upon request of their families.
One Filipino worker remained unaccounted for, while four were still recovering from their wounds at an Algiers hospital, the DFA had earlier said.
Meanwhile, Hernandez told reporters in the briefing that the Philippine team in Algeria requested DNA samples from the next of kin of the lone missing Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) “to facilitate the identification of his remains.” Hernandez said that the DFA had the name of the missing worker.
“We are now coordinating with the employment agency regarding the request….once the employment agency has this DNA sample, it will be sent to Algeria to facilitate the identification of the remains of the lone missing OFW,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez also noted that the families of the fatalities had requested for members of the media to give them “space and privacy as they mourn the loss of their loved ones.”
“They have also requested that members of the media should not attempt to meet them or interview them at the airport and elsewhere,” Hernandez said.
“When they are ready to share their experience as well as their grief, they will approach the media,” Hernandez added.