KIN OF PINAY KILLED IN KABUL SEEKS REPATRIATION OF REMAINS
BAGUIO CITY, JANUARY 17, 2007 (STAR) By Artemio Dumlao – Relatives of Filipino physical therapist Zennia Aguilan, who was killed together with three others during a bombing at a hotel last Monday in Kabul, Afghanistan, appealed to the government yesterday to help facilitate the return of the victim’s remains to the Philippines.
Aguilan’s European employer who owns the Spa Resources International where the Filipino victim worked, had called up the victim’s mother Herminia in their hometown in Sagada, Mountain Province. The employer promised that the remains of the victim will be in Sagada within four days, said Shirley Lebeng, Aguilan’s cousin.
Lebeng said Aguilan took up a physical therapy course in Dagupan City and also worked in Taiwan in 2004.
She said Aguilan was adventurous and daring. After working in Taiwan she went to Dubai in 2006 and later found a job in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she was employed as a spa therapist at the five-star Serena Hotel.
“She is qualified for a P220,000 insurance from the government,” said Isaac Anthony Basil, security and protection department chief of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) where Lebeng sought assistance yesterday morning after also requesting help from the Baguio City Public Employment Services Office (PESO).
Lebeng said her cousin went to Afghanistan on Aug. 16, 2007. OWWA records showed that Aguilan had a one-year contract with a salary of $700 a month.
Basil said the only problem now regarding the immediate repatriation of the victim is that the Philippines has no embassy in Kabul, which could pose difficulties because there are no Filipino government representatives to attend to Aguilan. The nearest Filipino diplomatic post is in Pakistan. – With Pia Lee-Brago
Malacanang assures assistance to family of Filipina killed in Kabul terror attack
(MALACANANG) Malacanang assured today that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will provide necessary assistance to the family of a Filipina overseas worker who was killed in a five-star hotel terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan Monday night.
Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye made the assurance during the press briefing this afternoon at the New Executive Building of the Palace.
Bunye also said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has instructed the DFA and the DOLE to coordinate with the Kabul authorities to ship back home the remains of the victim as soon as possible.
He said the President also directed the two agencies to ensure the safety and welfare of all Filipino workers in Kabul.
At least eight people, including an unnamed Filipina spa supervisor at Serena Hotel, were killed when armed men stormed the luxury hotel in the capital of Afghanistan.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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