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Negrense caregiver confirmed dead in Israel-Hamas conflict

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday confirmed the death of another Filipino in the armed conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Negrense caregiver Loreta Villarin Alacre, 49, was added to the list of Filipino fatalities in the ongoing armed conflict between Israel and Hamas militant group, and her death was also confirmed yesterday by his elder sister, Annabella Alacre.

Annabella disclosed that the death of her younger sister, Loreta, who has been working as a caregiver in Haifa and Tel Aviv Israel for 15 years, was relayed to her by the Department of Migrant Workers on Friday.

Loreta, according to Annabella, was among the revelers attending the Supernova Music Festival outside the Re’im Kibbutz, near the Gaza Strip, that was attacked by Hamas fighters last week.

Annabella however said they have no specific details on the circumstances behind the death of her sister, as of this time.

Anabella said that Loreta, of Sitio Camia-an, Brgy. Cadiz Viejo, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, served as their breadwinner, following the death of their parents, and financed the education of her nephews and nieces.

As facilitated by Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, Annabella said she was able to talk to Hans Cacdac, officer in charge of the Department of Migrant Workers, who assured her on Friday that DMW will extend their utmost support to them, including educational support and livelihood.

In an interview over a radio program hosted by Rep. Gasataya, Cacdac reiterated his assurance of support to the loved ones left behind by Alacre and other Overseas Filipino Workers killed in Israel, as per instructions of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., during their meeting in Malacañang.

Anabella said they are also seeking the help of the government to bring the body of her sister to the Philippines, for burial in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental.

Regarding repatriation, Cacdac said they are coordinating with the Israeli government to bring home the remains of Loreta.

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. also assured help for the family of Alacre.

DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said there are now three Filipino fatalities, while three remained missing.

De Vega said that the Philippine government is working with the family, and the embassy in Israel is in touch with the sisters who are in Kuwait for the repatriation of the remains.

Loreta also has a sister working in Kuwait.

De Vega also reported that of the 131 Filipinos who remain in Hamas-run Gaza, including 3 tourists, 92 have sought repatriation from the enclave.

“Not one has been repatriated yet because of the fact that Gaza is under blockade. But we are working on it. We are working with our diplomatic partners,” he said.

On the other hand, Gov. Lacson said that the provincial government of Negros Occidental has a Migrant Resource Center (MRC) at the third floor of Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City, to assist Negrenses seeking help for the repatriation of family members in Israel.

Records of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Western Visayas showed that there are 231 OFWs in Negros Occidental working in Israel.

“We Cadiznons, mourn the death of our fellow Cadizeño, Loreta Alacre, of Brgy. Cadiz Viejo,as one among the Filipino fatalities in the ongoing war between the Israeli forces and Hamas rebels along the Gaza Strip,” Escalante said, adding “The city government of Cadiz, therefore, is beyond willing to assist the Alacre family in their moment of grief.”

Mayor Escalante said they will coordinate with the provincial government of Negros Occidental for the “oneness” of their efforts in helping the Alacre family, especially for the return of Loreta’s remains to Cadiz City.

MRC manager Jose Maria Amugod yesterday said that the Provincial Council for Migrant Development, where OWWA and DMW are members, will have a meeting to discuss what help could be extended to the family of Alacre.*

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