remains.of.7

Angelita de Guzman, comforted by her sister Josefina and husband Eduardo, touch the box containing the remains of her son Edward Anthony de Guzman, who was among the seven Filipinos killed in the Yemen bomb attack.  (Photo by Rudy Santos)


MANILA — The remains of the seven Filipino medical workers who were killed in a car bomb attack in Yemen arrived on separate flights last Tuesday, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Carmelita Dimzon said.

The bodies of Dr. Ruben Valenzuela and nurses Hezel Pueblos, Edward Anthony de Guzman and Rosita Santiago arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) onboard Emirates Airways Flight EK 336 at 6:25 a.m.

The remains of nurses Marivic Badenas, Aurora Gormate and Marianne David arrived at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga.

OWWA personnel extended assistance to the families of the seven Filipino workers.

The agency will also extend other assistance to their legal dependents.

“OWWA will be offering scholarship and livelihood assistance to the survivors or the legal dependents of the seven workers,” Dimzon said.

The families will also receive P220,000 death and burial benefits.

Manila condemned last week’s coordinated suicide bombing and armed attacks by suspected al-Qaeda militants, which also killed 45 people at a military hospital inside Yemen’s Defense Ministry compound in Sana’a.

The incident happened just months after Manila lifted its travel and labor ban to Yemen.

Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Haddi expressed regret for the tragedy and called the Filipino victims “martyrs.”

A duty medal will be conferred by Haddi to the late Dr. Ruben Valenzuela.

It will be given to the Valenzuela family in the Philippines by the director general of the Defense Complex hospital.

The families of each of the fatalities will also receive compensation from the hospital management equivalent to the one year salary of their deceased relative.

“Half of that amount was already given. The balance will be paid in February 2014,” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez said.

The 27 Filipino workers who survived the attack will each receive compensation equivalent to their three months salary, he said, adding their flight to the Philippines is now being arranged.

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