Search on for missing Filipina after London fire

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine embassy in London said it is continuing its search for Ligaya Moore, the Filipina still missing two days after the London tower fire that killed at least 17 people.

"The embassy reiterates its request for information on the whereabouts and condition of Ms Ligaya G Moore, a known resident of Grenfell Tower," the Philippine embassy said in a statement posted on its Facebook page Friday, June 16. 

The embassy requested the public to relay an information on Moore through the number +44-7802-790695.

Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said that based on initial information, Moore "is at least 60 years old." 

Bolivar added that she "lives on the 21st floor of Grenfell Tower," the 27-story apartment block in west London. 

The search for Moore comes after a massive fire ripped through Grenfell Tower before dawn on Wednesday, June 14. (READ: Anger mounts over London tower blaze)

Grenfell Tower was home to around 600 people, and whole families remain missing after the fire.  Residents were forced to flee through black smoke down the single stairwell, jump out of windows, or even drop their children to safety.

Embassy appeals to Filipinos

In an interview with reporters on Thursday, June 15, Senator Joel Villanueva also appealed for information about the whereabouts of Moore.

Villanueva, son of Jesus is Lord  leader Brother Eddie Villanueva, said Moore belongs to JIL. He said a JIL church was adjacent to Grenfell Tower. 

Villanueva was informed that Moore lived alone. 

The Guardian reported on Thursday that Moore is 79 years old. 

The British news outlet also quoted Moore's grandson, Nico Purificacion, as saying: "Our family loves her so much. She's very fun to be with. So innocent yet very straightforward. She's been in London for a very long time. She visits us here in the Philippines once in a while." 

The Philippine embassy in London earlier said other Filipinos were injured in the London tower fire. 

The embassy requested Filipino and Filipino-British nationals affected by the fire "to make themselves known" so that Filipinos in London can help them.

The embassy said affected Filipinos can send their names and contact numbers, as well as information on missing or confined family members and friends, by email to grenfellpinoy@gmail.com or by text to 07802790695. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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