The trip in Maldives was actually the “dream honeymoon” of newlywed Filipino couple Erica Joyce and Leomer Lagradilla who drowned while snorkeling in one of the resorts in Dhiffushi Island, the sister of one of the victims said on Tuesday.
“Opo… Lumalabas nga po parang first day po nila… Friday po kasi sila nag-send ng ticket sa amin. Nagulat na lang po parents ko na paalis sila, not knowing po na doon po sila pupunta sa Maldives. Last message po nila sa amin, Saturday then after po noon wala na po silang message,” Mhapolle Lagradilla, Leomer’s sister, told GMA News’ Unang Balita.
According to Mhapolle, their family will meet with officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to hasten the repatriation of the victims’ remains back to the Philippines.
“Ngayon po kasing umaga, pupunta kaming DFA… Makiki-coordinate po kami doon. May kausap po ‘yung father ko kung paano po mapapabilis ‘yung proseso ng pagbalik ng mga katawan nila sa atin,” Mhapolle said.
“Meron po kaming pinsan doon. Nakita niya po mismo ‘yung bodies ni ate ko, ni kuya ko. ‘Yun po, confirmed po talaga na sila po ‘yun. Ngayon po pina-process po kung pa’no ang procedure,” she added.
The DFA earlier bared that a Filipino couple from Laguna died in the Maldives while spending their honeymoon on Sunday.
High school sweethearts Erika and Leomer tied the knot last December 18 and left for their honeymoon on January 9.
The couple’s friends already started a fundraising campaign to help raise the P1,268,000 needed for the repatriation of their remains.
According to Mhapolle, Leomer’s employer has also promised to extend monetary assistance to the grieving loved ones of the couple.
“Actually po sa side ni kuya, nag-pledge na po ‘yung company niya na sila po ‘yung sasagot pero as of now wala pa pong 100 percent kasi kailangan din po naming mag-confirm sa company ni kuya. So ‘yun na lang po ‘yung inaano namin… kay Ate Erica,” Mhapolle said. —Anna Felicia Bajo/KG, GMA News