CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — Bulakenyos paid tribute to one of the province’s illustrious sons—the late former Senate president and Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople during the commemoration of his 94th birth anniversary at Gat Blas F. Ople building here on Wednesday (Feb. 3).
Governor Daniel R. Fernando and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III led the offering of flowers at the bronze bust of Ople, together with Vice Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, Ople’s wife Susan, and son Toti.
Fernando likened Ople to a fishing village in Hagonoy town to a moth that was mesmerized by the lights of the city at the mouth of Manila Bay where the young Ople used to fish.
“Gat Blas F. Ople is Bulacan’s gift to the nation and to the world. Isang Bulakenyong lumikha ng isang pangalan sa mundo ng pulitika na hindi mapapantayan sa panahon ngayon. Si Ka Blas (Ople) ay pamana ng Bulacan sa sambayanang Pilipino at sa mundo,” the governor said in his message.
He said Ople was the first Bulakenyo hero of modern times who changed the meaning of being a politician as he was never greedy for power.
“He was the only political servant of almost everyone who became president of the Republic of the Philippines from Magsaysay, Macapagal, Marcos, Cory Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, and Arroyo,” Fernando added.
Bello, meanwhile, said Ople was one of the proud sons of the province of Bulacan and the father of the Philippine Labor Code.
“The late Senator Blas F. Ople was one of the greatest Filipinos of all time and if he was still alive, he would have done more for the country,” he said.
Bello also donated 20 million pesos through the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program which will benefit 5,000 informal workers plus 50 units of Negosyo Cart.
Bello gave P20 million to Bulacan PESO from DOLE’’s TUPAD or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers program plus 50 units of Negosyo Cart.
Ople’s 92-year-old wife thanked the Bulakenyos for the annual commemoration of her husband’s birthday.
“Salamat po at palagi pa rin natin siyang (Ople) kapiling sa ating puso at sa kanyang mga naiwang ala-ala,” she said.
Ople, a journalist who raised in Hagonoy, Bulacan was also named as a “Champion of International Labor”, framer of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
Ka Blas also fought during World War II as a teenager under the Del Pilar Regiment and the Buenavista Regiment of the Bulacan Military Area founded by the late former Bulacan Gov. Alejo Santos.
Ople was born in Hagonoy, Bulacan on Feb. 3, 1927, to Felix Antonio Ople, a craftsman who repaired boats, and his wife Segundina Fajardo.
Wednesday’s celebration coincided with the inauguration of the newly constructed three-story building of the Provincial Public Employment Service Office (PPESO).
After the inauguration, a Certificate of Commendation was given to the Province of Bulacan and its PESO Department by Sec. Bello for establishing the first stand-alone PESO building in Central Luzon and commitment to providing exemplary employment facilitation services and being exemplary awardees of the DOLE’s PESO Hall of Fame Award in 2008 and DOLE Secretary’s Award for the PESO’s untiring service as an employment intermediary in 2014.
During the event, the necessary health protocols to avoid the spread of COVID-19 was strictly implemented. (RONDA BALITA Online)