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Duterte to declare Oct 26 a holiday in Cebu for Vidal funeral

President Rodrigo Duterte pays his last respects to the late Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Oct. 23, 2017. RICHARD MADELO / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

CEBU CITY — President Rodrigro Duterte will declare Oct. 26 a non-working holiday in Cebu to allow more people to attend the funeral of Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal who died last week.

During his visit to the wake of Vidal at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in downtown Cebu City past midnight on Monday, Duterte said he would sign an executive order declaring Oct. 26 a holiday.

The President arrived at the cathedral at 12:05 a.m. and was welcomed by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. He immediately approached Vidal’s younger brother Juanito Vidal who was waiting at the wake sitting on a wheelchair.

He walked up to the coffin of Vidal and stayed there for about two minutes.

Duterte also delivered a short speech in front church officials and people who had waited for his arrival since past 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Catholics queue to view the remains of Ricardo Cardinal Vidal at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Cebu City. CEBU DAILY NEWS / TONEE DESPOJO

In his speech, he said he had a lot of documents waiting in his office in Manila earlier on Sunday but he had to leave. He just came from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, to grace the culmination of the 38th MassKara Festival.

Palma thanked the President for taking time to visit the wake of Vidal who visited Duterte in Malacañang in July 2016 to bridge the gap between the Catholic bishops and his administration.

The President left the wake at 12:33 a.m. to return to Manila.

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino said he would get details about the pronouncement of the President on the declaration of a holiday.

He said they expected the declaration to be signed by Tuesday. /cbb

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