MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Embassy in Germany is appealing to the public who may have information on the next of kin of a Filipina who died of heart attack in Berlin.
“Sa mga kamag-anak o mga kakilala ni Susan Reyes Walter, makipag-ugnayan po lamang sa Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA),” said Charge d’affaires Mardomel Celo Melicor.
Reyes passed away last January 27, 2013 due to a heart attack. However, Philippine authorities are having a hard time tracking down her next of kin.
“Wala siyang address ni kahit ano sa kanyang mga next of kin. So ang ginawa namin, tiningnan namin sa kanyang passport application eh isang address lamang sa Tondo,” said Melicor.
Melicor said they immediately emailed to Manila the information they found on Reyes’ passport and at the very same day, the DFA went to check out the address in Tondo.
“Pinilit ng embahada ng Pilipinas sa Germany, sa tulong ng DFA, na mahanap ang mga magulang ni Susan Reyes na sina Teodorico Reyes at Lolita Rionguigui sa huling tirahan nito sa Felix Juertas, Tondo, Manila.Ngunit hindi na raw doon nakatira ang mga ito,” said Melicor.
A new building now stands in the area where Reyes’ supposed home stood. People in the neighborhood do not know where her relatives transferred.
Reyes was born on February 5, 1964 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. She married a German national at the age of 18 but the couple divorced. Walter also worked in a popular fast food chain in Berlin for 24 years.
The embassy coordinated with German authorities so they could enter Reyes’ apartment in Berlin in the hopes of finding addresses or telephone numbers of her possible next of kin in the Philippines.
However, since no contact details were found and the 10-day period given by German authorities to the embassy already lapsed, Reyes’ remains will be buried anonymously in Germany and the German State shall shoulder its expenses.
“In fact, hanggang ngayon nakikipag-ugnayan pa rin kami sa Nachlass Gericht, kung tawagin sa atin ay Inheritance Court. Kasi kailangan after mai-dispose yung katawan, yun naman kanyang estate, mga benefits, ari-arian, mga ganyan. So kailangan may representative yan. Kung may next of kin lang ito, saglit lang ito,” he said.
Due to this, Melicor stressed the importance of providing complete details of the next of kin’s contact information on any documents or records, such as passport applications or certificate of registrations, to prevent something like this from happening again.
“Makakatulong nga sana ang ABS-CBN kasi nationwide baka mas effective kayong makahanap ng contact whether sister, brother or parents nitong si yumaong Susan Reyes Walter. Kaya kami ay nagre-request din sana sa ABS-CBN,” he said. Report from Cris Dizon and Grace Sheela Pickert, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau correspondents.