Remains of 4 Filipinos killed in Beirut port explosion arrive in PH; nearly 400 Filipinos also repatriated
MANILA, Philippines — The remains of the four Filipinos who died in the Beirut port explosion in Lebanon arrived in the Philippines Monday afternoon, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
According to the DFA, the repatriation flight, which landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), also included 386 overseas Filipinos as well as the remains of four other Filipinos, who died of different causes.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. welcomed the Filipino repatriates, including the 20 who were injured in the massive blasts in Beirut.
“Maikli lang ang salita ko, alam ko pagod kayo (This will be short, I know you are all tired). All I’m going to say is welcome home. President Duterte welcomes you home,” Locsin said in a short speech at NAIA.
“I want to thank the people around me, everyday nandito sila to welcome back our people. We do it because we love you and we do it because we respect our President. The first and only president who has cared for the least of the Filipino people,” he added.
At this point, the foreign affairs chief turned emotional and held back tears as he thanked the repatriated Filipinos for letting the DFA serve them.
“Thank you for the honor of serving you. Thank you,” he said.
According to the DFA, this batch of Filipino repatriates was the latest in the series of ongoing repatriations from Lebanon, bringing the total of repatriated Filipinos from that country to 1,918.
The department said it will mount another chartered flight from Beirut that will cater to the distressed Filipinos who expressed their desire to be repatriated but could not be accommodated on Monday’s flight.
The DFA, meanwhile, advised Filipinos in Lebanon seeking assistance to reach out to the Philippines Embassy in Beirut through the +961-5-953519 or via email at [email protected]
Relatives of Filipinos in Lebanon may also provide the DFA with the latest information regarding their next of kin’s current location and contact details in Lebanon.
Those who wish to do so may call the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs at (02) 8834-4996 or the 24/7 ATN Hotline: 09674421825 / 09083442070, according to the DFA. [ac]
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.