MANILA (UPDATED) - President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III visited the wake of the country's comedy king, Dolphy at the Heritage Park in Taguig on Thursday afternoon.
Aquino was welcomed by the comedian's long-time partner singer Zsa Zsa Padilla and their daughter Zia Quizon.
The president arrived with Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II to pay respects to the late veteran actor.
Meantime, Aquino said he agrees with moves to have the late king of Philippine comedy Dolphy declared as a National Artist.
Aquino, however, said the process should not be railroaded.
"Sang-ayon ako sa pagiging National Artist niya, pero sundin ang proseso," he said.
He said a legal case still hangs over the issue, referring to then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's decision to name some National Artists without a thorough review or even a nomination by officials of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
In 2009, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order stopping the conferment of the National Artist awards to Carlo J. Caparas, Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, Francisco Mañosa, and Jose “Pitoy” Moreno after a petition was filed by a group of national artists when Arroyo added names outside of the final list submitted by the NCCA and the CCP to the President.
"Tandaan, may nakabinbin na kaso sa Supreme Court tungkol sa noo'y pag-shortcut sa proseso ng pagpili ng National Artist," Aquino said. "Ayokong maulit yon."
The President has declared Friday, July 13, 2012 as National Day of Remembrance for Dolphy.
"Gumagalang ako sa ating king of comedy. Matulungin po siyang tao. Kailangan lalong idiin yung kanyang ehemplo sa susunos na salinlahi," he said. -- video from Top Story, ANC, July 12, 2012, Thursday