Manila to hold necro rites for Lopez

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Necrological rites for former mayor Gemiliano “Mel” Lopez Jr. will be held at the Manila City Hall on Friday morning, a day before his interment at the Heritage Park in Taguig City.

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The former mayor’s remains will be brought to the city hall from the Santo Niño Church in Tondo where they stayed since his death on January 1 after suffering a heart attack.

Lopez, 81, was city councilor, vice mayor, mayor, and assemblyman of Manila. He was appointed mayor by President Corazon Aquino in 1986 and won a term and served until 1992. His last government post was chairman of the PNOC-Exploration Corp. from 2010 until last year.

He was a well-respected sports leader and served as Philippine Sports Commission chairman from 1993 to 1996.

He was credited in his capacity as head of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines for the three-gold, two-bronze hauls at the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games. His son Manny Lopez is now the representative of the first district of Manila.

Former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza extolled Lopez for being a “patriot.”

“Mayor Lopez and I were among the Liberal Party candidates who survived the Plaza Miranda bombing. We continued fighting the dictatorship until democracy was restored after the peaceful People Power Revolution. He was a tireless public servant and patriot. Our prayers go to his family,” Atienza said in a statement.

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