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PIA Press Release
2009/02/06

Feature: Interpol, one of awardees of Cebu City Charter Day celebration on Feb. 24

Cebu City (February 6) -- The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) represented by its Secretary General Ronald Noble will be one of the distinguished awardees of the Cebu City Government as it celebrates its forthcoming 72nd Charter Day later this month.

Acting Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama bared the announcement during the hand-over ceremony of the Interpol to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) under the Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday morning at the Malacaņang sa Sugbo.

Disaster Victims Identification (DVI) experts of the Interpol hand-in-hand with the forensic experts of the NBI have been based in Cebu since July last year for the identification processing of victims of Typhoon Frank through DNA examination.

Only a few of the DVI experts will be left in Cebu as most will be going back to their home base in Lyon, France as the next four weeks will be wrapping up what is needed to be done, this is learned.

Rama also presented Noble an image of Sto. Niņo, Cebu's patron saint clad in its famous red attire.

Over 2,000 blood samples from families and relative of victims have been collected for the DNA test and post mortem analysis sent to Sarajevo all paid for by Interpol as well as the transport of a mobile forensic laboratory and refrigerated vans for the remains in Cebu.

Interpol already spent more than P50M for all the expenses incurred since they arrived in Cebu last year to assist local authorities in fast tracking the reunion of the families with their missing loved ones, this is said.

So far, slightly over 500 bodies have been identified and over 150 bodies have yet to be identified while the Interpol and NBI plan to go to Panay, Iloilo and Antique for more blood sample collection from families and relatives in the areas whose loved ones were part of the fatalities of the devastating typhoon.

A Presidential citation was also given each to Noble and Kathryn Bomberger, International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) Director General for their exceptional commitment, valuable contribution and generous support to the Philippine Government.

Cebu City North District Rep. Raul Del Mar who was present during the event also read Resolution 167 approved by the House of Representatives that gives full commendation to the efforts of the Interpol. A copy of the resolution states "Commending the Interpol for its exceptional efforts in assisting in the identification of the victims of the sinking of MV Princess of the Stars at the height of Typhoon Frank and reuniting them with their loved ones."

The said resolution also hailed the Interpol for deploying an Incident Response Team immediately after the sea mishap including disaster victim identification (DVI) experts from the International Commission on Missing Persons to assist in the DVI process. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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