TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos attended the mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport here on Saturday.
“The message of the Holy Father is about the poor, and I love the poor,” Marcos told reporters in a chance interview after the mass.
“If more people think like him, the country will be more united and able to grow,” she said.
The former first lady is a native of Tolosa, Leyte, and was called the “Rose of Tacloban” in her youth.
She is an aunt of Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
Vatican correspondent John Allen reported on Catholic news website Crux that Marcos attended the mass as an ordinary pilgrim.
She was seen wearing the same yellow plastic raincoat worn by the pope and the rest of the pilgrims gathered at the airport.
Allen said Marcos did not meet Pope Francis, “who was likely unaware of her presence.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Marcos’ son, also attended the mass, based on a photo he posted on his Twitter account.
“Tacloban is washed clean by the rain and blessed by the pope,” the senator said.
“This is a new experience. Mass in the rain but we don’t notice when we listen to the divine message of Pope Francis,” he added in a separate tweet.
Mayor Romualdez thanked Pope Francis for consoling the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda.
“His message was very humbling, inspiring,” said Romualdez.
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