Remains of Aegean Wind Filipino workers arrive in ManilaJan 2nd, 2010 | By staff | Category: Labor & Welfare, News
2 January 2010 – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and its embassies in Athens and Venezuela, as well as the Philippine Labor Office in Athens facilitated the early repatriation of the remains of six Filipino seafarers on board Greek-owned vessel M/V Aegean Wind which caught fire last December 25.
The remains of Bonifacio Vallescas, Reo Arias, Danilo Esparagoza, Noel Lagamon, Bryan Pragamac, and Jerry Espanola arrived in Manila at 6:45 p.m. via a chartered Boeing DC 8 flight. The plane flew from Venezuela to Athens, and after unloading the remains of the three Greek sailors killed in the same incident, took off for Manila with a refueling stop in Dubai. The flight though was delayed for eight hours in Dubai because of unfavorable weather. The families of the Filipino seafarers patiently waited for eight hours at a nearby hotel quarters provided by the shipping company, to eventually receive the remains.
With the familes were DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Executive Director Enrico Fos and other officials of the DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. M/V Aegean Wind caught fire on Christmas day while on sail in Venezuelan waters. The fire resulted in nine deaths, including the six Filipinos and three Greeks sailors. Two Filipinos seafarers, Mark San Jose and Cromwell Pilapil, were injured. Mr. San Jose has arrived in Manila earlier while Mr. Pilapil is still in Curacao for medical treatment. Seven other Filipino seafarers who survived are still in Caracas for the ongoing investigation.
Under the instructions of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos coordinated the actions of the Philippine Embassies in Caracas, Venezuela and Athens, Greece.