3 Filipinos die in Hajj pilgrimage: DFA

MANILA— The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday reported that three Filipino pilgrims have died since the Hajj season started.

“The Philippine Consulate in Jeddah has informed us that there were three Filipino pilgrims who have died from natural causes while participating in this year’s Hajj,” DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato said in an interview.

Cato said the three were already buried in either Mecca or Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Initial information from the agency identified two of the pilgrims as a 64-year-old woman and a 59-year-old man from Lanao del Sur.

The man died at the Al Noor Hospital in Makkah due to acute peptic ulcer while the woman succumbed to cardiac arrest several hours after departing Manila on July 24. She was buried in Medina.

Meanwhile, the third pilgrim, a 47-year-old man from Buldon, Maguindanao, was admitted to the internal care unit of the Al Noor Hospital in Makkah due to complications from diabetes. He died on August 17 and was buried on the same day.

The agency facilitated the issuance of “no objection certificate” for the three Filipinos’ burial in Saudi Arabia.

There are about 5,570 Filipino pilgrims and 115 support staff from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos who joined the 2018 Hajj.

In his report to the DFA Home Office, Consul General Edgar Badajos assured they will “continue to monitor” the situation of Hajj pilgrims who are currently in Mecca to extend assistance when necessary. PNA-northboundasia.com