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Duterte visits wake of Elizabeth Gokongwei

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MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday visited the wake of Elizabeth Yu Gokongwei, who passed away on Saturday, just a week after the death of her husband, tycoon John Gokongwei Jr.

Based on a statement and photos from Malacañang, the President was seen chatting with members of the Gokongwei family at the Heritage Park Mortuary and Crematory in Taguig City.

Duterte also posed for a photo opportunity before leaving the premises.

Also present during the wake were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Senators Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

On Saturday, Elizabeth’s son, Lance confirmed that his mother passed away peacefully at the age of 85.

The Gokongwei matriarch is a founding member of the Robinsons Department Store and headed its merchandising department from 1980 to 1992.

She is also a member of the board of trustees of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) and helped provide education for underprivileged youth.

Earlier, Malacanañg said it is “saddened” by the passing of the Gokongwei matriarch who was described by her children as “the heart and soul of the Gokongwei family.”

“We express our deep condolences to — and relay our commiseration with — the family, particularly her children, Robina, Lance, Lisa, Faith, Hope and Marcia, friends, colleagues, employees, and loved ones, Mrs. Elizabeth left behind,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo also recalled the advice given by Mr. Gokongwei to “marry a good person for a spouse as she would be an ally in happiness and not a source of misery.”

He said Elizabeth fit the bill because she “helped in realizing the vision and dream” of one of the greatest business leaders in the country.

“She fully supported the conviction of the businessman who dared,” he added. (PNA)

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