01 April 2015 - The Philippines joined other countries in bidding final farewell to the founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew even as Singapore mourns the passing of its leader who is considered to be the primary architect of Singapore’s transformation from a small entrepot into a regional and global hub.
Senate President Franklin M. Drilon represented the Philippines in the State Funeral Services (SFS) held at the University Cultural Centre at the National University of Singapore (UCC-NUS) on March 29. Minister for Environment and Water Resources Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan met Senate President Drilon at UCC-NUS. Senate President Drilon signed the Book of Condolences before being ushered to the SFS venue.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima and Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Jesus I. Yabes also signed the Book of Condolences at the Singapore Parliament on March 28. Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Antonio A. Morales paid his last respects at the Lying-in-State on March 25.
At the Parliament, Secretary del Rosario, Secretary Purisima and Undersecretary Yabes were welcomed by Member of Parliament (MP) Ms. Grace Fu Hai Yien, Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Secretary del Rosario said, “The Founding Father of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, was a respected leader and a great example of a visionary statesman. I offer my condolences to the Lee family and the people of Singapore in this time of mourning.”
Senate President Drilon joined Heads of State, Heads of Government and Special Envoys of other countries at the SFS to listen to the eulogies of officials led by Mr. Lee’s son, current Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, along with Singaporean senior government officials President Dr. Tony Tan Keng Yam, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, Former Cabinet Minister Ong Pang Boon, Former Cabinet Minister S. Dhanabalan, Former Senior Minister of State Sidek Bin Saniff, trade unionist G Muthukumarasamy, Tanjong Pagar community leader Leong Chun Loong, former journalist Cassandra Chew and the late Mr Lee’s second son, Lee Hsien Yang.
The SFS for Mr. Lee started at 2:00 p.m at UCC-NUS. The 12-kilometer procession from Parliament House to Kent Ridge Road near UCC-NUS was lined up with people from the local and expatriate communities, including many Filipinos who wanted to pay their last respects to Mr. Lee.
Earlier in the day, Senate President Drilon and Undersecretary Yabes went to a Mass with members of the Filipino community at the St. Bernadette Church along Zion Road.
Senate President Drilon departed Singapore for an Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam on March 30. He was sent off by Director-General Foo Teow Lee, Directorate for Southeast Asia II of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While at the airport, he also met Ms. Kok Li Peng, the incoming Ambassador of Singapore to the Philippines. END