• OFWs who died in Iraq fire flown home

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    The remains of the 13 Filipino women workers who died in a hotel fire in Iraq have been flown home, Malacañang said on Saturday.

    In a radio interview, Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon 3rd said the remains of the victims arrived in Manila at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

    The women were among the 21 killed in a fire that struck the Capitol Hotel in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan autonomous region last week.

    “The remains of six of the victims will be brought to their respective provinces,” Quezon said in a radio interview.

    He said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has immediately worked on providing aid to the family of the victims.

    “All remains will be received by their next of kin and that the DFA is committed to facilitate the release of benefits due and extend assistance to the bereaved families,” he said.

    The Philippine government has placed most of Iraq under Alert Level 4, which calls for mandatory repatriation.

    Kurdistan, however, remains only under Alert Level 1 due to a more “stable security situation.”

    There are about 1,500 Filipinos in Kurdistan, most of them working as hotel and restaurant crew, engineers, nurses and household service workers.

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