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Sad homecoming

Remains of Filipino student slain in Ireland flown home

/ 06:04 AM June 01, 2018

JOURNEY HOME The casket bearing the remains of Jastine Valdez arrives at Clark International Airport and is prepared for transport to her native Nueva Vizcaya. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CLARK FREEPORT — Grieving couple Danilo and Teresita Valdez took refuge in silence as they brought home the remains of their only child, Jastine, who was abducted and murdered in Ireland on May 19.

Mark Christopher Congdon, honorary consul for the Philippines in Ireland, spoke on behalf of the Valdez couple when they arrived with Jastine’s casket at Clark International Airport here on Wednesday night.

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Abductor shot dead

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Jastine, 24, was kidnapped as she walked near her home in Dublin on May 19. Her abductor, Mark Hennessy, 40, was shot dead by the police on May 20. Her body was discovered the next day.

Teresita fainted when she and her husband disembarked from a flight that came from Dubai. They were met here by Elmer Cato, acting assistant secretary for public diplomacy of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Gratitude

Congdon said the family did not wish to discuss the tragedy but expressed its gratitude to the government for facilitating the return of Jastine’s body.

“We grieve with the loved ones of Jastine Valdez, someone so young and so full of promise, who was suddenly taken away from them,” Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement. “We join the rest of the Filipino community in Ireland in offering our prayers for Jastine and her family.”

Jastine’s body was taken to Aritao town, Nueva Vizcaya province, where it would be buried. — TONETTE OREJAS

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TAGS: Filipino student, Ireland, Jastine Valdez, Murder
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