MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will lead a “closed private” necrological service for the late Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople in Malacañang Palace in Manila on Monday morning.
“The President, together with the bereaved family, will receive the remains of the late Secretary Ople upon their arrival in the Kalayaan Hall. The necrological service will begin shortly after,” the DMW said in an announcement on Friday.
Ople’s remains leave the Palace at 3 p.m. and will be transferred to the DMW office in Mandaluyong City. Viewing will be open to the public from 5 p.m. onwards.
On Thursday afternoon, a delegation from the Senate led by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Majority Leader Joel Villanueva visited the wake at Heritage Park in Taguig City.
The group presented a resolution expressing the sympathies and condolences of the chamber.
In the evening, DMW officials and staff, together with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), held a joint night of tributes and necrological service.
Among those who paid their final respects were DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, former DOLE secretary Marianito Roque, OWWA Administrator Arnell Ignacio, and DMW Undersecretaries Bernard Olalia, Maria Anthonette Allones and Patricia Yvonne Caunan.
President Marcos, meanwhile, visited the wake on Wednesday together with First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos and other officials that included former president and now Deputy House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Pampanga’s second district, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, Senator Cynthia Villar and former senator Manuel Villar.
Marcos appointed Ople as the first DMW secretary in June 2022.
Ople established and headed the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute, a non-profit organization actively involved in labor and migration issues.
She underwent Stage 2 breast cancer surgery in February 2020. However, the cause of her death was not yet revealed. (PNA)