Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

    President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. expressed his deep sorrow over the death of Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 61.

    Ople was the first to head the newly-created Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), which was established by Marcos in 2022 to address the needs and concerns of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

    In a statement released by Malacañang, Marcos said that he had lost a dear and much valued friend, who was also a great champion for the labor movement in the Philippines.

    He praised Ople for dedicating her life to the welfare of laborers and migrant workers, and for being tireless in her pursuit to always support and find protection for them.

    “There cannot be a better example of the perfect mix of compassion and hard-nosed pragmatism than in Toots.

    She got many things done in her years of public service, and all for others, never for herself,” Marcos said.

    He also expressed his condolences to Ople’s family and friends, and assured them of his prayers.

    Ople was diagnosed with breast cancer, which caused her to delay considering her appointment to Marcos’ cabinet.

    She was confirmed by the congressional Commission on Appointments in November 2022, making her the first secretary of the DMW.

    Prior to that, she served as undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment from 2004 to 2009, and ran for senator twice in 2010 and 2016 but lost.

    She was also the founder and president of the Blas Ople Policy Center, a non-government organization that assists distressed OFWs.

    She was the youngest daughter of former Senator and Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople.


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