DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Vice President Leni Robredo spent more than half a day in Davao City to comfort survivors of the Roxas Night Market blast and condole with families of the victims.
Robredo flew in on Sunday morning, September 4, and headed first to the Southern Philippines Medical Center where she spoke with patients who had survived the explosion.
A total of 36 victims were admitted into the hospital but two of them, one a 12-year-old boy, died. (IN PHOTOS: Blast in Davao City)
Robredo next visited Angel Funeral Homes to drop by the wakes of some victims. She spoke with Ellen Adremesin, the wife of a cop who died while getting a massage.
Adremesin, speaking to media after, said Robredo had offered her help and talked about her experience when she lost her husband, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, in a plane accident.
The Vice President then visited more wakes at the Cosmopolitan Memorial Chapel. One of the people she met was Omelito Sobrecarey, husband of a masseuse who died on the spot.
Robredo headed to the airport after to catch her flight set to leave around 2 pm.
For the whole visit, Robredo did not grant media interviews, saying she was there to attend private events. (READ: Empty streets, full funeral homes on weekend after Davao City blast)
But later in the day, on her Facebook account, the Vice President shared that she heard "stories of faith, of struggle, of hope and also of helplessness."
Robredo said: "Most of the dead and the injured were ordinary citizens doing extraordinary work to make ends meet for their families – massage therapists, barbecue vendors, a tricycle driver, a policeman, a nurse, some students. Some were robbed of their lives, others of their limbs and their means to make a living."
She also said that "it is in moments like this that we have to set aside our differences and come together as a nation and thwart the evil forces that threaten our very core."
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.