By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

WAKE VISIT. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. visits the wake of Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople at The Heritage Park in Taguig City on Wednesday (Aug. 23, 2023). Marcos said Ople’s death is a “great loss to the Philippines.” (Photo from Presidential Communications Office Facebook)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday paid his last respects to Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople who passed away on Tuesday afternoon.

Marcos, accompanied by his wife, First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, arrived at The Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City at around 7:29 p.m. to condole with the Ople family.

Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, Senator Cynthia Villar, and former senator Manuel Villar also went to the wake of Ople.

Marcos had a brief talk with Administrator Arnell Ignacio of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration before leaving the memorial park at around 8:05 p.m.

In a media interview in Santa Rosa City, Laguna, Marcos said Ople’s death is a “great loss to the Philippines.”

Ople underwent surgery for Stage 2 breast cancer in February 2020 but the cause of her death was not immediately revealed.

Ople was appointed as DMW secretary in June 2022.

She also headed the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute, a non-profit organization that is actively involved in labor and migration issues.

The DMW said the Ople family would appreciate sending donations to the Blas F. Ople Policy Center instead of giving flowers. (PNA)