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Bulacan mourns passing of DMW Sec. Toots Ople

CITY OF MALOLOS –The Majority of Bulakenyos are still in shock after learning about the sudden death of Department of Migrant Workers Sec. Ma. Susana ‘Toots’ Ople on Tuesday afternoon after battling with Stage 2 breast cancer.

Sec. Ople is the third of Blas Ople’s siblings after her elder brothers Toti and Blas Jr. passed away in July at the age of 65 and 72 years old respectively, both due to lung cancer.

Born and raised in the town of Hagonoy, Sec. Ople, is the youngest of the seven children of former Senator Blas Ople and currently served as the first secretary of the DMW.

Known to be the “Tireless Champion of Overseas Filipino Workers”, Ople was a notable public servant whose her main advocacy was promoting and fighting for the rights of Overseas Filipino Workers.

Some of her accomplishments include opposing the death sentence given to Mary Jane Veloso who was tricked into carrying drugs to Indonesia and she also advocated for the release of numerous OFWS being imprisoned in the Middle East.

Prior to being the Secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers, Ople served as Undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). She was also the Chief of Staff at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In 2013, she received the Trafficking-in-Persons Hero Award from the US State Department while in 2010, Ople received the Alumni Achievement Award from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Ople also headed the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute, a non-profit organization that is actively involved in labor and migration issues.

Meanwhile, Governor Daniel R. Fernando expressed his grief and how the country is in great loss after the passing of the DMW sec.

“Lubos na ikinalulungkot ng lalawigan ng Bulacan ang pagkawala ng isang lingkod bayan na nagpakita ng tunay na malasakit sa kapakanan ng ating mga OFW, at sa kabilang banda ay lubos ang ating pagpapasalamat dahil naprotektahan niya ang karapatan ng ating mga migrant worker. Isa pong malaking kawalan sa Pilipinas ang pagkawala ng isang Toots Ople, lubos po ang aming pakikiramay sa kanyang mga naulilang mahal sa buhay,” the governor said.

She was the youngest daughter of the late Senate President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople.

The wake will be at Chapel 1 of the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City starting this afternoon, Wednesday, August 23 until Tuesday, August 29 where she will finally be laid to rest. (UnliNews Online)

Manny D. Balbin
Manny D. Balbin
Emmanuel "Manny" Dineros Balbin, founder and editor-in-chief of UNLINEWS ONLINE and UNLINEWS Digital Newspaper, is a former seminarian of Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) in Notre Dame University Seminary in Cotabato City. Graduated college with Philosophy and Political Science courses at the University of Santo Tomas, Legazpi City. A former Journal Group of Publication (People's Journal, People's Tonight, Taliba & Women's Journal) staffer for 17 years. Before, he simultaneously contributed news articles to 3 local newspapers in Bulacan (NewsCore, MetroNews & NewsWatcher). He is the founder and the former editor-in-chief of RONDA Balita, both in weekly newspaper and online news. A former Kabayan provincial reporter, 2010 Bulacan election correspondent by Rappler and presently, a stringer of Philippine News Agency (PNA) Bulacan.


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