DFA: Filipina teen bound for Brazil finally allowed to fly out of KL

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04:39 PM July 23rd, 2013

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By: Tarra Quismundo, July 23rd, 2013 04:39 PM

An Air France-KLM plane on an airport tarmac. The airline reportedly prevented an 18-year-old indigenous Filipino woman, who was en route to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for World Youth Day from boarding on her onward flight on July 20 at the Kuala Lumpur airport because she appeared “not ready to travel” even if she had a folder with full documentation supporting her trip to Brazil. PHOTO FROM AIRFRANCEKLM-FINANCE.COM

MANILA, Philippines — The Filipino teen barred from boarding her connecting flight to Brazil from Kuala Lumpur was finally able to push through with her trip to participate in the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Tuesday.

Citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia, DFA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez said that 18-year-old Arjean Marie Belco took a KLM Airlines flight on Tuesday after her sponsor, GoodX.org, managed to rebook her connecting flight to Brazil.

“Upon learning of the incident, our Embassy in Kuala Lumpur immediately contacted Ms. Arjean Belco to inquire about her situation and find out how it could help. She informed the Embassy that a representative from Goodx.org was already taking care of the arrangements,” Hernandez said in a text message on Tuesday.

“Per the information we received this morning, Goodx.org was able to resolve the situation and Arjean is on her way to Brazil,” he said.

Belco, a native of Bukidnon’s Talaandig tribe, was denied boarding her connecting KLM flight from Kuala Lumpur to Brazil, her sponsor said in a Facebook post. An airline employee allegedly said Belco appeared “not ready to travel,” doubting why she was flying to Brazil through Malaysia.

GoodX.org and partner organization Cartwheel Foundation had pooled contributions to fly Belco, an education student, to the global event to be graced by Pope Francis. The pontiff arrived in Brazil on Monday.

The DFA did not comment when asked whether the incident warranted an investigation.

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