Press Release
July 18, 2016

Senate to honor former Senator Helena Benitez

The Senate will hold necrological services for former Senator Helena Benitez on Tuesday, July 19 at the Senate Session Hall. Benitez, who served as senator from 1967 to 1972, passed away last Thursday at the age of 102.

Senate Secretary Oscar G. Yabes said senators to be led by Senate President Franklin Drilon will receive Benitez's remains at 9:40 a.m. at the main entrance of the Senate building.

He said the senators, together with Benitez's family, Senate officials and protocol officers will escort the urn carried by Bryan Benitez McClelland, a family member, to the Session Hall at the second floor of the building.

Yabes said Drilon will present a resolution honoring Benitez to her family. He will also deliver a eulogy along with Senators Santanina Rasul, Wigberto Tañada, Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Risa Hontiveros and Loren Legarda.

The necrological services will be followed by a lunch at the Recto-Laurel Rooms at 11:45 am before Benitez's remains will be escorted to the ground floor for departure at 1 pm.

The Senate has been flying its flag at half-mast since July 14 to mourn the passing of Benitez.

Benitez, the 7th woman elected as senator in Philippine history, authored laws on education, culture, arts and the environment, such as the Philippine Eagle Protection Act and Republic Act No. 6148 declaring Mount Iglit, Mount Baco and adjoining areas in Mindoro island as a national park.

Benitez received various accolades for her advocacies in education, women, environment and international affairs including being the first Filipina chairperson of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women, and first Filipina recipient of the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu (Grand Cross).

Before her passing, Benitez was the chairperson of the board of trustees of the Philippine Women's University (PWU) where she founded the world-renowned Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company in 1956. (Apple Buenaventura)

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