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Bol-anon Killed in Iraq Bombing
« on: May 06, 2007, 03:01:06 AM »
Former Boholano radio reporter killed in Iraq bombing
By Leo P. Udtohan

The Filipino contractor killed in a rocket attack on
the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq last
Wednesday is a Boholano.

He was identified as Niceforo Idulsa, 38, from Roxas,
Bilar town. Idulsa worked as a guard and later became
an office worker in a US military camp in Iraq for a
year.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) didn’t divulge
the name of Idulsa until his next of kin are properly
notified.

Niceforo’s wife Teresita Agdol and two sons are in San
Jose, Dinagat, Surigao del Norte.

Vilma Idulsa-Realista, the victim’s sister said
Niceforo called her three times last week before his
death. That was last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday
telling his woes and fears in Iraq. He is recounting
stories of how other Filipinos there were very much
aware of the dangers they face.

“We talked about his condition in Iraq. He shared that
his life is in danger in the hostile environment of
Iraq. It pains us,” Realista told the Post.

Niceforo’s brother, Hilario “Larry” Idulsa, a
technician of dyTR learned the incident last Thursday.
 He was also saddened of his brother’s death. Their
mother, Matilde, could not hide her sadness of losing
a son.

It was agreed that Idulsa’s remains will be brought to
Bohol according to Realista.

Realista, who lives in Poblacion, Baclayon, went to
Manila last Friday to ask help from DFA.
It can be recalled that a Boholano soldier, Myla
Maravillosa also died while in duty in Iraq in
December 2005. Idulsa was the latest Filipino fatality
while being exposed to dangerous working conditions in
exchange for a better life for their families.

The DFA said last Friday that they has been
encountering difficulties tracing the consultant’s
immediate relatives because “some of his documents are
not current." It appears that Idulsa was an
undocumented overseas worker.

In response to the killings, Philippine President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo called for a quick
reassessment of whether Filipino workers in Iraq
should return home.

Arroyo also ordered diplomatic and labor officials to
immediately bring home the body of Idulsa, her
spokesman, Ignacio Bunye, said.

"The president is saddened at the news," Bunye said.

Despite the ban, many Filipino workers are believed to
have slipped into Iraq through neighboring countries
such as Jordan, prompting the government to appeal to
those countries to help block such passage.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers
Affairs Esteban Conejos Jr said in a press conference
on Friday that the Department of Foreign Affairs has
been encountering difficulties tracing the
consultant’s immediate relatives because “some of his
documents are not current."

The report even quoted a statement from the US embassy
in Iraq, saying Wednesday's attack left it "with a
profound sense of sadness and regret" over the loss of
Filipinos who "were integral members of our embassy
community."

Initial reports said all four contractors killed in
the attack were Filipinos. It was later clarified that
only one was a Filipino, two were from Nepal and the
other one came from India.

Conejos said the Philippine embassy in Iraq has
reported that Filipino fatality had been brought to a
mortuary in Baghdad. “We are just awaiting the proper
documentation for the body to be brought from Baghdad
to Kuwait, and from there, moved back to the
Philippines," he told newsmen.

“To start the documentation process, there has to be a
certificate of acceptance before the airline will
accept the body for shipment from Kuwait to Manila,
but we’re told that the US military is prepared to use
military transport from Baghdad to Kuwait, and from
Kuwait, commercial airline (to Manila)," he explained.
“We have to make sure somebody will receive the body."

Presently, Conejos said there are still 6, 000
Filipinos in Iraq. “Our assumption is that most of
them were already in place when the ban was imposed in
2004."

“Some of the Filipinos in Iraq work with big logistics
companies in Kuwait. There is always a convoy (and
the) drivers are Filipinos," he cited.

The ban on deployment of Filipinos to Iraq remains.
The offer for voluntary repatriation stands.

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Bohol Radio Reporter Killed in Iraq

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Last post May 06, 2007, 03:36:13 AM
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