President Benigno Aquino has issued Proclamation No. 433 declaring today, July 13, a National Day of Remembrance for Rodolfo "Dolphy" Quizon Sr., the country's late Comedy King.

According to a report from PEP.ph, presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte had released a statement July 12 that the President had issued the statement "in recognition of how the nation deeply feels the passing of Dolphy."

The Comedy King had passed away July 10 due to multiple organ failure.

"The President asks all our countrymen to reflect on the art and artistry, the personal kindness and generosity, and deep patriotism of Dolphy, and the manner in which he exemplified in his works and life, the positive values of the Filipino people," continued the statement.

"We should never forget that Dolphy made generations of Filipinos laugh; he was unparalleled in tapping into our inherently jovial spirit—that both challenges and triumphs could be met with optimism and cheer; and that therefore, this was the greatest gift he gave the Filipino people, and this is the kindness that he will always be remembered for: Dolphy was relentless in reminding us all to always open ourselves to joy."

Valte also remarked that this proclamation "is in keeping with the wishes expressed by the late Dolphy himself, and his family, that he be remembered not with sadness, but with the same warmth and joy he brought to the lives of millions throughout his career."

In another article by PEP.ph, the Palace has also confirmed that Dolphy has been nominated for the National Artist award, which is conferred only once every three years.

Valte said that the Comedy King could receive the honor as long as he passes the screening to be conducted by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). The NCCA and the CCP will then submit a shortlist of nominees to the President, who will have the final say on whom to give the awards to.

"Obviously, the President thinks very highly of Mang Dolphy. However, we have stated in the past [that] we do not want to politicize the process. We do not want to make any prejudgments, and magsasalita na lang po tayo kapag nakapagbigay na po ng shortlist ang NCCA for the award (we would only talk about it when the NCCA has given the shortlist for the award)."

The National Artist awards became controversial in 2009 when the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order to stop the conferring of the honor to Carlo J. Caparas, Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, Francisco Mañosa, and Pitoy Moreno as these names were only added by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the official list of nominees submitted by the NCCA and the CCP.

(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)

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