Kins seek quick repatriation of remains of OFW killed in Saudi fuel truck blast

November 6, 2012 11:23 pm 

By Michaela del Callar

MANILA, Nov. 6 -– The family of Filipino worker Florentino Santiago, who was killed in last week’s fuel truck explosion in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, personally sought the Department of Foreign Affairs’ help to immediately bring back worker's remains to the country.

Santiago’s widow Jocelyn, his children – Shaina May, 15 and Renz Joseph, 4 – and elder brother Ildefonso personally appeared at the DFA office Tuesday to speed up repatriation of Santiago's remains.

“We hope, through the DFA’s assistance, he could be brought back to us at once,” Jocelyn said.

Santiago died when a fuel truck, driven by another Filipino, Ruben Kebeng, exploded in Riyadh on Nov. 1, killing 22 others and injuring scores, including nine Filipinos. One Filipino is in critical condition.

Jocelyn said she was able to talk to her husband on the phone some hours before the accident.

“His last words before we hung up were, ‘always take care of the kids,’” she said.

Saudi authorities have already taken custody of Kebeng, who is considered a primary suspect in the explosion that damaged nearby cars and structures.

Jocelyn said she could only feel hate towards Kebeng, blaming him for the death of her husband, an overseas Filipino worker for the past 14 years.

“It’s painful. I hate him and when I see his picture, I want to crush him. That accident started with him,” she said.

Santiago’s eldest daughter Shaina May said she was still recovering from the shock of her father’s untimely death.

“I don’t let my mother see me cry. I need to be strong for her and my brother. He’s too young to understand all this,” she said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said that to secure a permit to bring home the body of a deceased Filipino in Saudi Arabia is usually very tedious as it had to go through layers of bureaucracy.

However, the DFA vowed to do everything it could to ensure that Santiago’s remains will be brought back home to his family immediately.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration promised a P220,00-cash assistance to Santiago’s family, scholarship for one of his two children, and a start-up business package. (PNA)



Comments are closed.