MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The remains of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo arrived in Malacañang before noon Friday for a two-day wake.
The plane carrying Robredo landed at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City at around 10:18 a.m. after leaving the Pili Airport at past 9 a.m. The plane carrying his family and several colleagues and officials arrived earlier.
The late Interior secretary was given arrival honors by the Armed Forces. Wearing black armbands, several Cabinet members and local government officials also waited for the secretary at the airbase.
The hearse carrying Robredo left the Villamor Airbase shortly before 11 a.m.
From Villamor Air Base, Robredo's remains were escorted by the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing as the funeral cortege passed through Andrews Road, Airport Road, Roxas Boulevard, Padre Burgos Street, Finance Road,. Ayala Boulevard, Ayala Bridge and Solano Street.
People also came in droves to see the funeral cortege of the late Interior secretary.
President Aquino led the arrival honors and reception ceremony for the late DILG Secretary. Robredo's funeral cortege arrived at the Palace at 11:17 am.
After the arrival honors, President Aquino had lunch with the Robredo family.
Robredo’s remains are scheduled to lie in state at the Palace's Kalayaan Hall from Friday until Sunday morning when his body will be brought back to Naga.
The Palace noted that this is the first time that a wake will be held at the hall, which was formerly named Maharlika Hall during the Marcos administration. It also decided to hold the wake at the Kalayaan Hall for easier access to the public who will visit Robredo's wake.
Memorial services sponsored by the DILG, attached agencies and the Local Government Leagues; urban poor groups; and the Kaya Natin Movement will be held from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday following the reception ceremony.
Friday’s public viewing will be held from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. after a mass at 6 p.m.
The public viewing will resume on Saturday at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A mass will follow at 6 p.m.
Memorial services sponsored by the Liberal Party of the Philippines and Robredo’s fellow cabinet members will then be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.
Robredo back to Naga
Robredo's remains will be brought back to Naga City on Sunday. His wife, Leni, said the late secretary preferred to be cremated and laid to rest in Naga.
The government earlier offered Robredo's family to have the late secretary buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Robredo died after the Piper Seneca plane that was carrying him crashed into the waters of Masbate last Saturday.
It took divers until Tuesday morning to find his body. The plane crash also killed his two pilot companions, Capt. Jessup Bahinting and Nepalese Kshitiz Chand.
Only Robredo’s aide Jun Abrazado survived the accident.
Robredo is survived by his wife Leni and three daughters Aika, Patricia and Jillian.
The funeral committee, in its bulletin no. 6 issued through the Official Gazette, said the incumbent president and vice president, former presidents and vice presidents, the Senate president, the Speaker of the House, national artists, and national scientists are entitled to a state funeral.
The committee said this protocol “is based on the precedence observed by the Philippine government, which closely adheres to the protocol of the government of the United States.”
However, the President, in his capacity as head of state and commander-in-chief, has the prerogative of ordering a state funeral for any citizen who is deemed of sufficient stature to deserve such an honor.
The last state funeral was held on July 4, 2012 for the late National Scientist Perla Santos-Ocampo. The last state funeral for a former President was for the late President Diosdado Macapagal in 1997, the committee said.
The committee added that a state funeral involves the following:
1. Expenses for funeral services are defrayed by the state;
2. A Book of Condolence is opened for dignitaries in the Philippines and in foreign posts of the Philippines.
3. The term lying in state is used, which is a term used for public viewings during state funerals;
4. Arrival, Departure, and Final Military Honors are rendered.