Friends and family members of two Filipino domestic workers killed in a freak accident at Lucky Plaza gathered at memorial services to pay their respects in Singapore this week as their bodies were returned to the Philippines today.
Days after they died in Sunday’s tragic accident, separate services were held for Abigail Danao Leste and Arlyn Picar Nucos, somber photos of which were published by the Center for Domestic Employees.
“Our staff members, led by our Executive Director, paid their last respects at the wake of the late Ms Abigail Danao Leste earlier this evening. Also present were many close friends of Ms Abigail who were able to come by to bid her an emotional farewell,” the center wrote New Year’s Eve.
Nucos’ employer, relatives and close friends had attended her wake, it wrote in a separate post the next day.
Nucos’ body was received by her siblings last night at Clark International Airport in Angeles, Pampanga, according to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. The 50-year-old woman was brought home by her sister-in-law, who also works in Singapore. “A simple ceremony and a mass were held in Singapore before Nucos’ remains were flown to the Philippines,” the department said in a statement in which it offered its condolences. It added that a wake for the women would be held in Nucos’ hometown of La Union.
Leste, who was 41, was being returned home Thursday, the Philippine Embassy announced this morning.
“We thank all those who have expressed their sympathy and concern for the victims and their families and encourage everyone to continue to pray for the fast and full recovery of those still in confinement,” it said.
The pair were among six domestic Filipina workers sitting by the railings outside the Lucky Plaza, an Orchard Road mall where members of the Filipino community congregate on weekends, when an out-of-control black Honda plowed into them before plunging several meters down onto a service road. A number of the women were knocked down onto the road by the car.
Four were rushed to the hospital while Nucos and Leste were pronounced dead on the scene. Singaporean police have arrested the 64-year-old motorist for reckless driving, and the authorities are still investigating the incident.
On Tuesday, two of the injured women – Laila Laudencia and Demet Limbauan – were discharged from the hospital. A fundraising campaign set up by the domestic employee center to support the victims and their families has raised over S$280,000 (US$208,000).
The other two; Egnal Layugan Limbauan and Arceli Picar Nucos, the sister of one of those killed, remain hospitalized.
CCTV footage showed the driver make a U-turn outside the mall’s drop-off point before suddenly accelerating onto the sidewalk where the group was located.
Flowers and handwritten letters have been left at a makeshift memorial at the site.