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PH validating if bodies in Cyprus mineshaft belong to missing Filipinas

/ 10:22 PM April 25, 2019
PH validating if bodies in Cyprus mineshaft belong to missing Filipinos

Men stand and watch the investigators by a flooded mineshaft where two female bodies were found, outside of Mister village near capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, April 22, 2019. Police on the east Mediterranean island nation, along with the help of the fire service, are conducting the search Monday in the wake of last week’s discovery of the bodies in the abandoned mineshaft and the disappearance of the six year-old daughter of one of the victims. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

MANILA, Philippines — The remains of two murdered women found in a mineshaft in Cyprus might be those of two Filipinos reported missing since 2018, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

In a phone interview with INQUIRER.net, Acting DFA Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Fernandez of the Office of Strategic Communications and Research said the Philippine Embassy in Athens is currently verifying if those bodies found in the abandoned mineshaft are indeed the Filipinos who vanished last year.

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“Actually, as early as 2018, ‘yong ating Embassy sa Athens… may report na missing Filipino citizens as early as 2018,” Fernandez said.

“Ni-report na nila sa pulis and of course the police tried to help them pero it was only recently nga nung na-discover itong mine na may mga bodies…The police got back to the Embassy and for the possibility na baka ‘yung hinahanap nating missing ay sila na nga yo’n, no?” he added. “Because meron ngang pending report ang ating Embassy na merong missing Filipinos, they tried to see kung sila yo’n. And so far, mukhang sila nga yo’n.”

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Fernandez, however, refused to divulge the names of the victims out of respect to their privacy.

The Associated Press has reported that Cyprus authorities are still looking for one of the victims’ 6-year-old daughter, which Fernandez said they have yet to receive further information on.

READ: Cyprus police search mineshaft for missing daughter of murdered Filipina  

Repatriation

The foreign affairs official said DFA is still focused on verifying if the cadavers indeed belong to the missing Filipinos before they move to arrange repatriation of the said bodies.


“We will probably come to that (repatriation process) later, kasi ang ine-establish muna ngayon of course, kung talagang sila ‘yun,” Fernandez said.

“As I said, meron reported missing since 2018, walang report ang police and then now, what they discovered in the mine, they are trying to see kung sila nga yo’n, if we will establish na sila na nga ‘yon, then we will probably arrive towards that direction,” he added.

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Fernandez, meanwhile, said DFA’s Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (UMWA) is currently in touch with the family of one of the missing Filipinos.

“Ang ating embahada, in addition to helping find them atsaka coordinating with the police… ang ating [DFA], UMWA na tinatawag… is actually in touch with the family of one of the alleged victims,” he  said. /kga

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