MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said relatives of three Filipino fatalities in the Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine have submitted DNA samples to Dutch authorities to help in the identification of their kin's remains.
DFA spokesperson, Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said Irene Gunawan's sister and niece in the Netherlands already provided authorities with their DNA samples.
"The dental records of the Gunawan couple have been obtained. The corresponding records of the children are still being located," said Jose.
Irene, her Indonesian husband Budy, and their children Sherryl Shania and Darryl Dwight, were among the passengers of the ill-fated MH17.
The embassy also said that Irene's sister will attend a ceremony which will be held at the Eindhoven Military Airport for the arrival of the first batch of bodies of the crash victims.
"The Dutch government has declared July 23, 2014 as a National Day of Mourning. At 4 p.m. (The Hague time) on July 23, Dutch and Australian aircraft carrying an estimated total of 60 lead caskets bearing individual bodies of the crash victims will arrive at the military airport from Ukraine," Jose said, Wednesday.
The ceremony will be attended by the king and queen of The Netherlands, the prime minister, as well as top officials, ambassadors of countries involved, and relatives of crash victims.
"The bodies of the deceased will be carried out of the aircraft by military pall bearers in designated vehicles. They will then proceed to Hilversum where the bodies will be identified by the Dutch forensic team with the participation of foreign counterparts," Jose said.
According to the Dutch Foreign Ministry briefing attended by embassy, there will be subsequent flights over the next three days, bearing more crash victims' bodies.
"There will be a ceremony for each arrival. Up to this time, verification is still ongoing on the actual number of bodies recovered," Jose said.
Jose added that once the identity of body is made by Dutch and international forensic teams, the ministry will inform the next of kin if they wish to view and confirm the identity of the remains of their deceased relatives.
"The ministry is initially working on a time frame of one month before the identities of all the bodies and body parts may be determined and the next of kin invited to view the remains of the deceased relative," he said.