MANILA, Philippines – Authorities in Saudi Arabia are now a hundred percent sure that the body they have identified last Saturday was that of Filipino truck driver Florentino Santiago.
Joven Santiago, the victim’s brother, flew in from Qatar and provided authorities with his blood sample to match with Florentino’s DNA.
Joven said that although their DNA matched, the family is still worried with the expenses to repatriate Florentino’s remains back to their hometown in Pandi, Bulacan province.
“Nagaalala kasi sila doon na pagdating doon yung mga expenses na mangyayari,” Joven said.
Joven said they need to raise about P280,000 to pay for the funeral services.
Florentino was among the 22 people killed when a tanker carrying liquefied natural gas hit a post of a flyover and then exploded on November 1. The tanker was driven by fellow Filipino Ruben Kebeng.
Florentino’s brother-in-law and fellow OFW earlier identified the wrong body at the morgue.
“Dahil pinagbasehan nila siguro dati yong position noong brother ko doon sa truck noong nakita nila,” explained Joven.
Joven was advised by his brother’s employer to extend his stay in Saudi Arabia to complete the paperwork for the immediate repatriation of Florentino’s remains.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs said they are still waiting for the results of the investigation by Saudi Arabian authorities.
“He is still with the criminal investigation office and the investigation is still continuing. Our ambassador has already met up with him in the court where he was asked to authenticate whatever he said to the criminal investigation office and he is in good condition,” said DFA spokesperson, Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez.
Ambassador Ezzedin Tago said the embassy has hired a lawyer to represent Kebeng during the course of the investigation. Roland Blanco, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau