TACLOBAN CITY- An official of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducting an ante-mortem activity for relatives who lost their loved ones during the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda whose identities remain unknown up to this time, issued an appeal for them to avail the free service.
Since they started their ante-mortem activity on May 19, only 703 relatives of those who were killed during the typhoon and remain unidentified have come to them, said Nicasio Botin, head of the NBI team.
According to Botin, the number represents around 30 percent of the relatives of the unknown dead processed by the NBI.
The NBI had earlier processed 2,255 people who died during the onslaught of Yolanda whose identities remain unknown.
They were buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery, this city.
“The number is just about 30 percent from the bodies that we have processed. I guess, they don’t find it necessary or they have already moved on,” Botin said.
Botin said that the relatives should avail this program offered by the national government as they are to wind up their activity held at the Balyuan Convention Center.
The ante-mortem activity, joined by the Philippine Red Cross and the City Health Office of the Tacloban city government, was started on May 19 and is to end on July 21.
Botin said the purpose of the ante-mortem is for the relatives of those who perished and could be among processed by the NBI be identified and if they wish, could be transfer to a burial ground of their choice.
“All we want is to have a closure,” Botin said.
The relatives were taken of their DNA samples for free. It cost P20,000 per sample if it would be taken by a private hospital or laboratory.
Among those who availed the ante-mortem activity was Eulogio Plamera of Barangay Bobon, Alangalang town in Leyte.
Plamera’s daughter, Almera, 18, was with her boyfriend, Arthur whose house was at the Fisherman’s Village in San Jose District, the hardest-hit area of Tacloban during the onslaught of Yolanda.
Blood samples were taken from Plamera, 58 and his son, Ronel, 34 by the members of the ante-mortem team.
According to the grieving father, they went to the activity site to have their samples taken in the hope that this could lead to the discovery and eventually recovery of the body of her daughter.
“We have resigned to the fact that she could have died during the typhoon. What we wish is to know her body and be given a proper and decent burial,” Plamera s