June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

PBBM meets OFWs who survived Hamas’ Oct. 7 Israel attack, captivity

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. had a meet-and-greet in Malacañang with overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) Jimmy Pacheco and Camille Jesalva who survived the attack of the Hamas group in Israel on October 7.

Pacheco, a caregiver in Israel, was held hostage by the militant group for more than 40 days. He
arrived in the Philippines on Monday, December 18.

He was one of the two known Filipinos held hostage by the Palestinian militant group during their October 7-rampage in southern Israel that resulted in the death of more than 1,000 people.

Pacheco was released on November 24 on the first truce.

During the meeting in Malacañang, Pacheco recounted the attack, and how their kibbutz was infiltrated by the group which shot his Israeli ward to death.

He also told the President about his ordeal while in captivity together with other Israelis, and how they moved from one tunnel to another to avoid Israeli troops amid heavy bombardment.

According to Pacheco, he survived eating meager ration of dates and water in his more than 40 days of captivity in Gaza.

Jesalva, a 31-year-old caregiver from Nueva Ecija, became an instant hero in Israel, after her story was publicized.

The Israeli public admired her courage, dedication and loyalty as refused to leave her employer, 95-year-old patient, Nitza Hefetz, during Hamas’ onslaught.

She and Nitza were residing in Nirim Kibbutz on the Gaza-Israel border, which was attacked by Hamas on October 7.

Several militants entered their home and robbed Jesalva of her money that she was supposed to spend for her planned vacation in the Philippines.

They were later rescued by responding troops from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

President Marcos said he was pleased to meet Pacheco and Jesalva and that they returned home safely.

“Eh di at least nakauwi kayo, tsaka Merry Christmas. Napakabigat naman nung experience niyo. Isulat ninyo o i-video ninyo,” Marcos told the OFWs.

“Dapat gawin nating lahat nung mga… lahat ng repatriate. Ikuwento sila, para malaman ng tao kung ano ‘yung pinagdaanan nila. ‘Yung Israeli, mahal naman tayo e, he said.”

As a response, Jesalva thanked the President for his guidance.