President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday morning visited the wake of healing priest Fr. Fernando Suarez at the Heritage Park in Taguig City.
In a press statement, the Palace said the President considers Suarez as a friend and was impressed by late the priest's healing power.
President Duterte extended his condolences to the bereaved family of Fr. Suarez, saying he believes in the priest's healing ministry. He noted that he personally witnessed Fr. Suarez's healing prowess once in Davao City, the Palace said.
The President also said that he, together with Sen. Christopher Lawrence 'Bong' Go and Davao del Norte 2nd Rep. Antonio 'Tonyboy' Floriendo Jr., consider(s) Fr. Suarez a friend, it added.
Suarez, 52, died on Tuesday after collapsing during a tennis competition at the Ayala Alabang Clubhouse.
He was rushed to the Asian Hospital Medical Center where he was declared dead due to heart attack.
Suarez, who hails from Taal, Batangas, is known for spearheading faith healing in the country.
He also founded the Missionaries of Mary Mother of the Poor Congregation that has branches in Batangas, Cebu, and Davao del Norte.
Despite his popularity, Suarez was barred from performing healing masses in several dioceses, including Cubao, Lingayen-Dagupan, Malolos, and Malaybalay, due to allegations of sexual harassment filed by two altar boys in San Jose, Mindoro in March 2014.
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on January 6 this year ordered the Philippine church to issue a decree of notification, informing Suarez was not guilty of the charges.
The remains of the late priest were brought to his hometown in Batangas on Friday and will be interred on February 15.
Source: Philippines News Agency