Migrante Canada is deeply saddened by the death of four Filipino migrant workers caused by tragic vehicular mishap in Innisfail, Alberta.
The migrant workers were on-board a van late Sunday night, March 4, when an SUV travelling in the opposite direction hit the van head-on, killing driver Anthony Castillon, 35, and three passengers – Joey Mangonon, 35, Josefina Velarde, 52, and still-unnamed 39-year-old Filipina.
Another female victim, a 28-year-old Josephine Tamondong who suffered serious injuries, was brought to a local hospital, and is now reportedly out of danger.
The SUV driver, Tyler James Stevens, 29, of Cochrane, Alberta, was unhurt, and is now facing multiple charges including four counts of impaired driving causing death.
“We extend our sincerest condolences to the families of the victims. We know how sad it is to lose someone in the family. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time,” said Migrante Canada Secretary General Christopher Sorio.
Many Filipino migrant workers in Alberta are employed under the Government of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program [TFWP]. According to reports, Castillon, Mangonon, Velarde, and Tamondong had worked at Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel in downtown Edmonton, Alberta. The unnamed victim had worked in a local cleaning agency.
“We call on the Philippine Embassy and Consulate officials in Canada to provide all necessary support to the victims’ families in the Philippines, including repatriation of the bodies and administering what’s due to them under the provisions of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration [OWWA] and the Magna Carta for Overseas Filipino Workers [OFWs],” said Sorio.
“It’s the responsibility of the Philippine government to provide full support to all Filipino nationals particularly in this kind of circumstances.”