MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte condoled with the Cebuanos and members of the religious community early morning Monday, October 23, as he visited the wake of Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
“I’m here to condole with you all,” President Duterte said in his speech at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
Straight from the MassKara Festival in Bacolod, the President arrived in Cebu around 12 midnight to pay his last respects to Vidal.
The Chief Executive heaped praises on Vidal, who served as archbishop of Cebu for 29 years.
“Our Eminence Cardinal Vidal was a person of peace and his language was always something about spreading love,” Duterte said.
“In the years that he led the Church, you can never say anything bad about His Eminence. And I’m most grateful for these conciliatory words,” he added.
He said he believed that paying his last respects to Vidal was part of his “obligation” as a member of the Catholic Church and as a Cebuano. Duterte’s father hails from Danao City.
He added that he would like to give “due importance” to the death of Vidal, who spent his life championing peace and reconciliation in the country.
To honor Vidal’s significant contribution to the country, the President said he would sign an executive order declaring October 26, the burial day of Vidal, as a holiday in Cebu.
This will allow Cebuanos to join the funeral of Vidal.
“I’ll sign the Executive Order declaring a holiday here in Cebu on the day of the burial of His Eminence,” he said.
Cardinal Vidal passed away at the age of 86 on October 18 due to complications from pneumonia.