Saudi govt buried remains of 3 OFWs without consent from families—Bello
MANILA, Philippines — The Saudi government has buried the remains of three overseas Filipino workers who died of the coronavirus disease 2019 without the consent of their families, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Wednesday.
Bello said he even called the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the Philippines Abdullah Al Bussairy to raise the matter.
“Merong tatlo na nailibing without the permission of the next of kin. In fact, I even called Ambassador Bussairy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to question the burial of the three OFWs without the consent of the families,” Bello said in a press briefing.
“When I talked to the Saudi Ambassador, His Excellency Bussairy, I expressed disappointment for their not asking the permission of the relatives or the next of kin of the dead OFWs. Nagbiro pa nga ako eh (I even joked that), our President may again impose a deployment ban,” he added.
According to Bello, the remains of the three fatalities who were buried in Saudi Arabia cannot be exhumed anymore.
The Philippine government is set to bring home the remains of 274 OFWs from Saudi Arabia. Of this number, 44 are scheduled to arrive in the Philippines on Friday, while the remaining cadavers will be brought home in the succeeding days in batches.
Asked if there was assurance from the Saudi government not to bury the remains of OFWs again without the consent of their families, Bello said: “I think we got that commitment from them through our DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) specifically Ambassador Alonto, our Philippine ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
He then assured that the bodies of the 274 OFWs scheduled to be brought back home will be buried in the Philippines.
“We will see to it that we will bring them home. Because they deserve to be buried in their homeland. After all, they are our modern day heroes,” said Bello.
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