Remains of Jastine Valdez arrive in the Philippines ahead of her funeral
THE remains of Jastine Valdez have arrived back in The Philippines ahead of her funeral.
The 24-year-old student's heartbroken parents Teresita and Danilo Valdez arrived with the Consul to the Philippines for Ireland, Mark Christopher Congdon, at Clark Airport this evening.
Ms Valdez was murdered by Mark Hennessy after he kidnapped her from near her home in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow on May 19.
Gardai found him at the Cherrywood Business Park on May 20 and he was shot dead, Jastine's remains were discovered last Monday, May 21, following an extensive search.
Mr and Mrs Valdez were greeted at the airport - which is north of the capital, Manila - by officials from the Filipino Department of Foreign Affairs.
They will now continue on Jastine's final journey towards Aritao, where her funeral is due to take place this week.
Consul Condon said that her parents are grateful to those who helped with Jastine's repatriations.
He said in a statement: "Consul Congdon expressed their (her parents') gratitude to the Philippine Government for their assistance in bringing their only daughter home.
"Valdez’s remains are now on their way to her hometown in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, by official police escort together with DFA Officials from Manila and Honorary Consul Congdon where she will be laid to rest."
In a statement on Monday, Mr Congdon said the "spirit of love and compassion" has shone from the Valdez home "like a beacon of light in a dark tunnel of torment".
He said: "Jastine will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Always in the hearts of mum and dad and the hearts of the Filipino and Irish nations, bound together forever in grief in Jastine's name."