THERE will be no closing of doors scenario if President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will visit the wake of former Budget secretary Emilia Boncodin.
Chief Presidential Spokesperson Ricardo Saludo who went to the wake Wednesday night said the family of Boncodin would welcome the President when she pays her last respect to her former Cabinet secretary.
“When I went there, I saw a wreath from the First Couple. In fact, if I am not mistaken it was the first wreath placed beside the casket of Boncodin… Maybe, this is one indication that they are welcoming the condolences of the President,” Saludo related.
Boncodin was among the Cabinet officials, now referred as Hyatt 10, who resigned during the height of the "Hello, Garci" scandal in 2005.
“Hello Garci” is the alleged taped conversation of President Arroyo with then Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Virgilio Garcillano about election rigging in 2004 elections.
Saludo said he thinks that Boncodin’s breakaway from the administration will not anymore be an issue to the family of Boncodin and the President.
“That happened a long time ago. So I am not really sure whether if it's at all an issue.”
Boncodin died last Monday due to cardiac arrest.
“The President has yet to visit the wake… I haven’t actually seen it in her schedule but that doesn’t mean she won't go,” Saludo said.
Describing the atmosphere, the President’s spokesperson said there was a friendly mood while he was at the wake of Boncodin.
“As far as I could tell yes at least when I was there and Bayani Fernando was also there…I spoke with a very close friend of secretary Boncodin…We had a good talk about the secretary,” he said.
“At the wake there was a string quartet playing broadway hits. I supposed secretary Emy like that kind of music. It was also seemed to be a very really solemn at the same time respectful,” he furthered.
Saludo said he had “high esteem” for Boncodin as he worked with the former government official when they were both in the Civil Service Commission.
Deputy Presidential spokesperson Gary Olivar earlier said the President will find time to visit the wake of Boncodin.
But according to Saludo, there has yet no exact date of the visit.
President Arroyo is expected to pay her last respect to Boncodin before March 21, which will be the interment of the former Cabinet official at the Bonifacio Heritage Park in Taguig City.
Boncodin remains are laid at the Sta. Maria Della Strada Church at Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City and will be transported to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) near Malacanang on Friday.
The DBM will hold a requiem mass for Boncodin.
The mass will held at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at her former office in DBM Building 1. Necrological rites will follow after the 5 p.m. mass.
“We are thankful for the Boncodin family for agreeing to ‘lend’ us our beloved Emy for a day to allow her DBM family to pay our last respects for her,” said Acting Budget Secretary Joaquin Lagonera.
The whole DBM Community mourns the loss of a highly esteemed former Budget chief who had risen from the ranks to become one of the most competent technocrats to have led the DBM.
Boncodin’s remains will stay in DBM for one night, after which, it will be transferred to the Bonifacio Heritage Park, Taguig, Metro Manila where it will stay until her interment on Sunday.
The Boncodin family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made for the improvement of a school building in Emy’s hometown in Iriga City, Camarines Sur through Land Bank of the Philippines at savings account no. 3401-0855-71. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)