MANILA — The government will provide assistance to the family of a Filipino pilgrim who died in a stampede last Thursday at the Mecca in Saudi Arabia, Malacañang said on Saturday.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said President Benigno S. Aquino III gave such instruction after being apprised of the situation by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
“It was unfortunately a very tragic incident and we extend our condolences to the family of the victim,” said Valte over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
“Our Philippine Consulate in Jeddah is already in contact with the family, and the President has also been apprised of the situation, and ang instructions po ng Pangulo is ibigay po natin ang necessary assistance sa pamilya ng biktima,” she added.
The identity of the victim has been withheld following the request of his family, according to the Palace official, but he was not based in Saudi Arabia.
“Ang alam ko po ay taga-rito po siya na pumunta doon. Wala ho rin akong masyadong detalye owing to the fact that they (the family) wanted to keep the identity (of the victim) private,” Valte said.
Death toll from the tragic stampede, which occurred right in the middle of the annual Hajj pilgrimage of members of the Islamic faith, has reportedly reached over 700 with hundreds more hurt.
Valte, however, said only one Filipino casualty has so far been confirmed by the DFA and it is yet to receive reports of other citizens involved in the mishap.