Duterte extends condolences to Robredo over her mother’s passing

By Argyll Geducos

President Duterte said he shared the grief of Vice President Leni Robredo whose mother recently passed at the age of 83.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers a speech during the celebration of the 120-year presence of the Baptist Churches in the Philippines at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on January 16, 2020. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

Duterte told Malacañang reporters Wednesday evening that he has not personally talked with Robredo yet, but said he knows what she's going through.

"No . But I'd like to say now that I'm sad and I share her grief. I also lost a father once upon a time," he said.

According to the President, he would go visit the wake of Salvacion Gerona if he finds the time. For now, the President said he sent flowers to the bereaved family.

"If I ever have time, I just came in from Davao. But I sent my... I conveyed my condolences and... flowers. Sali man sa kultura natin (That's part of our culture). We do it with flowers," he said.

Gerona, a teacher, passed away last Saturday at the age of 83 after Robredo confirmed that her mother's deteriorating health "turned for the worst."

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo went to Naga City Wednesday to condole with Robredo. He said he was representing the President who cannot come because of his busy schedule.

"He wants to go pero ang daming trabaho kasi, eh. Ako na lang siguro muna (but he has a lot of work to do. For now, I'll be the one going). I'll be representing him. He wanted to go, ‘yun ang sabi niya sa akin (that's what he told me)," he said.

In an earlier statement, Panelo said Gerona was a "selfless and dedicated teacher" and expressed hope that her soul may rest in peace.

"We understand that Sally, as she was fondly called by her loved ones, was a selfless and dedicated teacher who molded countless of young minds across generations," he said.