Bishop seeks probe into deaths of OFWs in Saudi Arabia
By CBCP News
June 23, 2020
A Catholic bishop stressed the need for an investigation into the death of more than 300 Filipinos in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga said a probe is needed to understand what happened and to enable appropriate actions to be taken.
“There should be investigation for the specific causes of death in order to prevent and avoid future loss of life,” said Santos, the vice chairman of the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People.
“It is also to correct what is wrong, to amend some mistakes and to improve the working conditions of our OFWs,” he said.
The bishop made the statement as the Philippine government is set to repatriate the remains of about 246 OFWs who died due to “natural causes”.
Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto said the number of deaths has reached 353, with 107 due to the coronavirus.
The government earlier said the bodies of Filipinos who succumbed to coronavirus will be buried in the Gulf state.
The prelate said it is proper that the remains of the deceased Filipinos will be brought back home for them to have a proper burial.
“They should be also home, and their loved ones to give their last respects,” Santos said.
“We, Filipinos, have high respect for the dead. We honor the dead. They are sacred to us. It is just and proper to give them proper, dignified burial,” he added.
Santos also asked the government to help the deceased OFWs’ bereaved families.