Support being sought for Filipino crash victims’ families

A Filipino migrant group is calling for support for the families of three Filipinos killed in a crash near Sylvan Lake last month.

A Filipino migrant group is calling for support for the families of three Filipinos killed in a crash near Sylvan Lake last month.

Ruben Deogracias, 34, Blesilda ‘Blessie’ Capule Orbigo, 28, and Napoleon Orbigo, 29, were killed when their car collided with a five-ton moving truck on Highway 11 near Range Road 4-2 west of Sylvan Lake on Dec. 13.

In the wake of their deaths, the Philippine government offered condolences, but did not provide repatriation assistance or financial support for victims of the crash and their families, say members of Migrante Alberta.

The group is now demanding the Philippine government take action and provide the services it says its consular offices are responsible for.

“Services such as repatriation are a basic service that the Philippine government must provide for everyone as part of its service to nationals,” said Cynthia Palmaria of Migrante Alberta in a statement issued Dec. 23. “These services must come standard to all overseas Filipino workers who they regard as Bagong Bayani (modern heroes).”

Migrante Alberta says members of the public have offered donations to help repatriate the crash victims’ bodies. The group is seeking further financial assistance to support the victims’ families in the Philippines.

A trust account has been set up at the Rocky Mountain Credit Union under the name ‘Panago and Dairy Queen In Trust of our Filipino Workers’, with the account number 723050162483.

The three deceased were on their way home to Rocky Mountain House at the time of the crash, having just finished a language training session in Red Deer.

Another man in the car was airlifted by STARS Air Ambulance to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton in critical condition, and is still recuperating from his injuries.

Two of the victims — Napoleon and Blessie — were newlyweds, having gotten married to each other in September.