Church saddened by death of migrant workers chief Toots Ople

August 24, 2023 - 6:41 PM
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Department of Migrant Workers Sec. Susan “Toots” Ople. (DMW/Released)

The Catholic Church’s migrants commission on Wednesday expressed grief over the death of Susan “Toots” Ople, the secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers.

“We lost a hero,” said Bishop Ruperto Santos, vice chairman of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI).

“It is sad news, a very sad occasion especially for our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). Her heart is completely for them. Her whole life is for our country,” he said.

The labor rights advocate passed away on Tuesday aged 61.

Ople was the first secretary of the DMW, a government agency formed last year to protect the rights and promote the welfare of about two million OFWs.

She is the daughter of former senator and former labor secretary Blas Ople.

The cause of her death was not immediately clear but the DMW said it would be releasing more details soon.

The bishop added Ople had “served well doing all sacrifices for the best of our nation and utmost welfare of our people”.

“Her legacy as of her father, Blas, lives on,” Santos said.

We, at CBCP-ECMI, pray and offer our Holy Masses for her eternal rest. We are one with our OFWs and her family in this moment of sorrow and bereavement,” he also said.