Vienna murder mystery: Filipina helper from Tubod named

The Philippine Embassy and police authorities in Vienna, Austria, are looking into the murder of the Filipino woman whose body was found on Tuesday in the cellar of the Lebanese ambassador’s residence in that country.

Eduardo Malaya, spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), on Wednesday identified the woman as Romalyn L. Basalo, 30, a housekeeper of Lebanese Ambassador Ishaya El-Khoury.

According to Malaya, Basalo was born in Tubod, Surigao del Norte, and her husband, who is based in Dubai, had been told of her death.

Malaya said Viennese police immediately informed the Philippine Embassy after Basalo’s body, which bore multiple stab wounds, was discovered by the ambassador’s cook.

The cook was the only other person present at the residence in Vienna’s posh 18th District.

The ambassador himself was in Beirut at the time but interrupted his holiday
to return to Vienna, the Lebanese foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said they did not consider the incident as an attack on the Lebanese mission in Vienna but a personal matter, and promised full cooperation with Austrian investigators.

Preliminary probe

Malaya said the Philippine Embassy’s charge d’affaires was present during the preliminary investigation of the case at the police station.

“The Viennese police promised to update the embassy on the progress of their investigation. The husband of the deceased has been notified about the incident and is expected to arrive in Vienna [on Wednesday],” Malaya said in a text message to reporters.

“We acknowledge with appreciation the cooperation extended by the Lebanese embassy in Vienna to Austrian authorities in their ongoing investigation of this criminal case,” he added.

Lebanese authorities, who had alerted the police, were cooperating with the investigation and allowed Austrian police officers free access to the scene.

Under normal diplomatic rules, the ambassador’s residence does not fall under Austrian jurisdiction. With a report from Agence France-Presse

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