MANILA, Philippines–The body of the Filipino who was beheaded in Libya was treated with “respect and dignity” during its repatriation to its arrival back home from Libya Saturday night, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday.

DFA Assistant Secretary and spokesman Charles Jose made the statement after the wife of slain Filipino worker Antonio Espares reportedly said that her husband’s body was wrapped in a garbage bag.

Espares was abducted and beheaded by Libyan militants in July, a development that prompted the DFA to call for the mandatory repatriation of Filipino workers from Libya.

Espares’ wife was at the DFA on Monday to inquire about the death benefits of her husband.

Understanding requested

“We can assure you that the handling of the [body] from its repatriation until arrival in Manila was done with respect and dignity,” Jose said, adding that the DFA had to check the accuracy of Espares’ widow’s description that her husband’s body was dumped in a plastic or garbage bag.

Jose asked for understanding as he noted that Libya was in a state of civil war.

“The hospital was short of medical supplies. They would not be able to do all the treatments they were supposed to do under normal circumstances. This was the situation prevailing so we also have to understand that,” Jose said.

He said that personnel of the Philippine embassy in Tripoli had gone to the Benghazi Medical Center to identify the body of Espares. They noted that there were “several bodies there stored in the morgue but were completely covered in white blankets.”

Jose said the practice in some Middle Eastern countries is to wrap the dead in a shroud for immediate burial.

Jose said the body of the Filipino was sealed in a casket when it was released from the hospital and then brought out of Libya through Tunisia. Source:

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