Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, October 2, visited the wake of the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago at the Cathedral Grottos in Cubao, Quezon City.
Duterte was earlier scheduled to be at the wake at around 11:30 pm on Saturday but arrived at the Cathedral Grottos around 1:45 am on Sunday.
The President spoke with Santiago’s relatives shortly after viewing her remains.
WATCH: President Duterte speaks with Miriam Defensor Santiago's relatives after viewing senator's remains around 1:45 am @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/oaZrDzcdyy — Paterno Esmaquel II (@paterno_II) October 1, 2016
The media were later escorted out of the chapel while Duterte spoke with Santiago's family. He left past 3 am.
The President earlier issued a statement to express the nation's "deepest sorrow" over the death of the former senator whose legacy, he hoped, would continue to "guide the Philippines."
“She is best remembered as a graftbuster ‘eating death threats for breakfast,' earning her the Iron Lady of Asia. A constitutionalist, she has always been an advocate for the rule of law,” Duterte said in his brief message following the death of one of the Philippines' most colorful and popular politicians.
During the presidential debates, Duterte and Santiago had been seen more as friends than as rivals. (READ: Duterte-Miriam love fest blooms at presidential debate)
In his opening statement in a presidential debate in February, for instance, Duterte said, “It’s good that Ma’am Miriam is here because she is one of the two only qualified to run this country.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.