Confetti, long queues for Robredo in ManilaBy Jamie Elona, Karen Boncocan, Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III led the arrival honors for the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo in Malacanang on Friday.
Robredo’s funeral cortege, which arrived at the Villamor Airbase around 10 a.m., reached the Palace around 11:30 a.m.
A 19-gun salute was conducted as part of the state funeral prepared for the late Cabinet official.
The casket will lie in state and will remain in Kalayaan Hall until Sunday morning.
Robredo’s wife lawyer Leni Robredo and daughters Aika, Patricia and Jillian, his elder brother Butch, and other relatives were present.
Aquino was accompanied by Vice President Jejomar Binay, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., and honorary pall-bearers Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, Cavite Representative Joseph Abaya, Harvey Keh convenor of Kaya Natin, Alice Murphy of Urban Poor groups and Joan dela Cruz of the DILG. Other Cabinet officials, government staff and other groups were also present.
From Villamor Airbase, the convoy took Andrews Avenue, Old Airport Road, Roxas Boulevard, Padre Burgos Street, Finance Road, Ayala Bridge, and Solano Street to Malacanang.
Students, employees and other supporters lined up the streets along the route and waited for Robredo’s convoy to pass by.
Fire trucks along Roxas Boulevard also shot water up to the sky when the convoy passed through it. Students, workers, and other citizens held yellow flags and threw confetti at the convoy.
Motorists also gave way to the funeral cortege as a sign of respect.
Chief Inspector Erwin Margarejo, MPD spokesman said Manila Police District officials and traffic aides from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority were deployed to maintain security and direct traffic along the route as to give way for the convoy.
Netizens have flooded social networking sites with messages of worry and encouragement for search and rescue operatives, following Robredo’s fatal plane crash during the weekend.
Malacanang will open Robredo’s wake to the public Friday night from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. until Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Robredo’s remains will be brought to Naga City Sunday morning. He will be laid to rest on Tuesday.
Originally posted: 10:19 am | Friday, August 24th, 2012