MANILA, Philippines— President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday night honored Dolphy by declaring Friday as a “National Day of Remembrance” for the comedy king.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said President Aquino signed Thursday presidential proclamation 433 that declared Friday as “National Day of Remembrance to Honor the Memory the late Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon Sr.”
Dolphy died last Tuesday night after battling complications of his respiratory ailment.
The President also said he favored declaring Dolphy as a National Artist but that there was a process to be observed for this to happen.
“There is a public clamor (for it) and I agree to the proposal that he be made a National Artist,” President Aquino told reporters in Filipino, after he attended a roadshow on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation at the SMEX Convention Center in Pasay City.
The President maintained there was a process that needed to be observed in declaring someone a National Artist and this will require among others, for officials in the concerned agencies to debate and vote on the nominees before their recommendation comes to him.
President Aquino also reminded that this process needed to be undertaken, considering that there was still a pending case before the Supreme Court that questioned the way the declaration of the last National Artist awardees seemed to have been done by short cutting the process.
“We don’t want a repeat of this,” he said, in reference to the controversy over the National Artist awards granted by the administration of former President Gloria Arroyo to movie director Carlos Caparas, among others.
On calls for him to declare a National Day of Mourning for Dolphy, Aquino said he had asked his officials to study the “precedents” of such declarations because he wanted to find out whether he had a right to make such a declaration or even instead a National Day of Remembrance.
He said he respected deeply Dolphy whom he stressed helped society very much through the arts he had pursued all his life.
“He helped a lot of people and we really need to highlight him as a good example for the next generation,” President Aquino also said of Dolphy.