Kabalen OFW dies in Algeria-A A +A
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
APALIT -- Officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that a Kapampangan working at the BP-Norway Statoil and Algerian state-owned oil company Ain Amenas was one of the six Filipinos believed killed in the recent hostage drama in Algeria staged by Islamic militants.
The Kapampangan casualty was identified by authorities as Illuminado “Bong” Santiago from Royal Homes Subdivision, Barangay San Vicente here.
Santiago was reportedly killed when special forces stormed the gas plant where he was working -- along with 19 other Filipinos and hundreds of foreigners -- in the Sahara on Thursday, to put an end to the four-day hostage crisis and free captives from at least 10 countries.
The wife of Santiago positively identified her husband through a photograph by officials, and said her family wants to have his remains flown back to the Philippines.
“Nakikiusap at umaapela po kami sa pamunuan ng ating gobyerno na sana ay maiuwi na sa lalong madaling panahon ang mga labi ni Bong,” she said.
Sun.Star Pampanga was unable to reach Mayor Jun Tetangco, but Board Member Nestor Tolentino, who hails from Apalit and admits to being a relative of Santiago, said the local and provincial governments would assist in addressing the concern of the bereaved family.
“His death was very tragic. It’s unimaginable for someone trying to make a living. Definitely, we will do what we can to help the family of Bong Santiago,” Tolentino said.
DFA officials, meanwhile, said that they have notified the relatives of the five other confirmed dead, while coordinating shipment of their remains.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 23, 2013.