There are no permanent enemies in politics.
Vice President Jejomar Binay–who was among the most vocal leaders of the opposition during the regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo–showed up at the Heritage chapels in Taguig City (Metro Manila) on Tuesday to condole with the detained former president on the death of her brother.
Arroyo, who is under hospital arrest, was granted a three-day pass by the Sandiganbayan to allow her to attend her brother’s wake.
Arturo “Art” Macapagal, 72, was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer and had been confined at the Makati Medical Center since July 2.
The former president was already given clearance by the Sandiganbayan to visit her brother at the hospital on Tuesday afternoon but he died around 6 a.m.
Arroyo arrived at the mortuary at past 3 p.m. and was immediately ushered into the chapel where the wake for her brother was being held.
A photograph posted on the Twitter account of ABS-CBN reporter Zen Hernandez shows a beaming Arroyo passing the barong-clad Binay as she arrived at the posh mortuary where the remains of her brother, Arturo, were taken after he succumbed to prostate cancer.
Radio station dzBB also reported that former Tarlac congressman Jose “Peping” Cojuangco–uncle of President Benigno Aquino 3rd–was also at the mortuary to condole with the Macapagal family.
Arroyo was undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry and executive director of the Garments and Textiles Export Board under the first Aquino administration.
Arturo “Art” Macapagal has made a name for himself way before his sister became the second Macapagal to occupy Malacañang.
Macapagal, a marksman, competed in the 1972 Munich and 1976 Montreal Olympics and held the Philippine record for Olympic free pistol for 21 years.
He was named All-Around Filipino Sports Awardee by the Philippine Sportswriters Association in 1973 and 1974 and was named Most Outstanding Shooter by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
Macapagal was president of the Philippine Olympians Association and the Philippine National Shooting Association and challenged Peping Cojuangco for the POC presidency in 2008.
Malacañang immediately sent its condolences to the Macapagal family on Arturo’s passing.
“The nation lost an outstanding Olympian and a respected business leader with the passing of Arturo D. Macapagal this morning… We extend our condolences to the bereaved family of Mr. Macapagal,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a statement.
Coloma noted that Macapagal was “a recognized leader in the automotive industry and is a staunch supporter of various socio-civic organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Scholarship Foundation for the Filipino Youth, where he served as chairman.”
Sympathy messages were also posted on the Facebook group “Band of Bedan Brothers” with some San Beda alumni remembering Macapagal, who studied in the Benedictine-run school from grade school to college.
“RIP Art. I knew him in San Beda and he was a real gentleman. I was a freshman when he was active in the student council. I met with him a couple of times in San Beda,” wrote Bing Froilan, a former San Beda high school teacher who is now based in the US.
Businessman Bong Magpayo said, “The Bedan community has lost a noble distinguished alumnus.”