Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Do not bury bodies" - Gordon

Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), Senator Richard Gordon appealed to local government officials not to bury bodies of suspected sea mishap victims to enable their proper identification.

"Do not bury the bodies until we have properly identified each and every one of them. The Red Cross will pick them up and transport them to Manila. By identifying the bodies, this will help give closure to the families of the victims," said Gordon, who was informed that some mayors had ordered the burial of bodies found in their towns.

He requested Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales for help in securing a court order for the exhumation of bodies of sea mishap victims which may have already been buried. This is so that the bodies can be transported to Manila for proper identification.
Gordon has confirmed the availability of 25-seater helicopters from Malampaya contractors that will transport bodies as well as survivors from provinces hit by typhoon Frank to Manila. He earlier requested Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes to secure the commitment of with the Malampaya contractors for the use of their helicopters.

Earlier, Gordon has raise appealed to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) for humanitarian aid for the victims of typhoon Frank.

“The Philippine Red Cross has been spending all its resources to provide for victims in 24 provinces and after taking care of the immediate needs of disaster victims, we will need to implement a rehabilitation program over a longer haul.

The PNRC’s resources may not be enough. There is also a need for search and rescue equipment to look for the hundreds of still missing passengers MV Princess of the Stars as well as victims of other sea mishaps,” said Gordon.

He further said that donations from all over the country and abroad have already begun coming in through the Philippine National Red Cross, but the magnitude of the disaster brought by typhoon Frank is quite huge and “ our resources may not be enough.”

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