THE Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Bureau of Investigation are working to
get the medical and dental records of 11 Filipinos still missing in the magnitude-6.3 quake
that hit New Zealand last month.
Officials from the DFA and NBI requested the relatives of the missing Filipinos for fingerprint
and dental records so a Philippine Embassy team can help identify bodies, or survivors,
recovered from the rubble.
“[Philippine] Charge d’Affaires (CDA) in Wellington Giovanni Palec has reported the New
Zealand police are gathering pieces of evidence including personal belongings to verify
identities – through DNA testing – those who perished. New Zealand authorities would not
release the identities of those who perished unless and until they have recovered the bodies
and verified their identities,” the DFA said in a news release posted on its website.
The Philippine Embassy team in Christchurch and the DFA’s Office of the Undersecretary
for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) are presently coordinating with the NBI in Manila to
facilitate and gather the records.
So far, the DFA-OUMWA has forwarded to Christchurch the information about the missing
Filipinos that it gathered from the DFA Office of Consular Affairs database.
For its part, the Embassy team is directly and regularly in touch with the relatives of the 11
Filipinos who remain missing. (PIA)