By Gloria Jane Baylon
The remains of three Filipino victims of the February 23 earthquake in New Zealand have arrived in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
They were those of Ivy Jane Cabunillas, which arrived on Sunday, and Jewel Francisco and Erica Nora, on Friday, accompanied by relatives who helped identify their bodies during forensics investigation in New Zealand.
Governmental teams composed of personnel from the DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration were at the airports in Manila and Cebu to extend assistance.
Another team remains in Christchurch to assist with the dispatch of the identified remains of Mary Louise Anne Amantillo, John Kristoffer Chua, Emmabelle Anoba, Valquin Bensurto and Lalaine Agatep,.
The DFA said that three who were declared missing — Jessie Lloyd Redoble, Ezra Mae Medalle and Rhea Mae Sumalpong — have not been accounted for as of press time.
A total 11 Filipinos perished in that 6.3-magnitude quake which which hit most badly the city of Christchurch, home to about 2,000 Filipinos.
It appeared that most of the Filipino victims were attending English-language proficiency classes in the building where they were soon entombed. The classes were to prepare them for professional careers in nursing in New Zealand.