Body of 24-year-old Filipina murdered in Ireland returns to home soil

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Ireland
The remains of Jastine Valdez, a 24-year-old Filipina student who was abducted and murdered in Ireland, arrive at Clark Airport yesterday evening. Photo courtesy of Clark International Airport Corporation

The remains of a Filipina student who was abducted and murdered in the Republic of Ireland this month has arrived at Clark Airport.

The remains of 24-year-old Jastine Valdez were accompanied by parents Teresita and Danilo, Philippine Honorary Consul to Dublin Mark Christopher Congdon and Foreign Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato when they arrived late yesterday (Wednesday, May 30).

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Ms Valdez will be laid to rest on Saturday in Aritao town in Nueva Vizcaya.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Mr Cato said: “Jastine arrived in the Philippines with her parents for her final journey home. We in the Department of Foreign Affairs join Jastine’s loved ones in the Philippines and the members of the Filipino Community in Ireland in mourning her untimely passing.”

Murder shocks Ireland

Ms Valdez, who went to live with her parents in Ireland three years ago, went missing on May 19. She was found dead two days later. 

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In the meantime, police had identified the suspect as Mark Hennessy, who was killed in a police encounter on May 20.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the Philippine Embassy in London and the Honorary Consulate in Dublin were already monitoring the case and were in touch with Irish police.

Ambassador to London Antonio Lagdameo said Congdon will discuss with the Valdez family any possible assistance the Department of Foreign Affairs may be able to extend.

“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 following reports of Ms Valdez’s murder. 

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