Former Senator Helena Benitez dies at 102
MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine Senator Helena Zoila Benitez died on Thursday, July 14, at the age of 102.
The Philippine Women's University – of which Benitez was a longtime chairperson of the board of trustees – said on Facebook she died of natural causes.
A memorial mass was held in earlier in the evening. The PWU Facebook page added, Benitez's cremated remains "will be brought to PWU Chapel tomorrow, July 15, 2016 for the 7:00 p.m. mass. Viewing will continue until Sunday, July 17, 2016 from 9:00 am onwards. Her remains will also be brought to the Philippine Senate before its inurnment on July 19, 2016 at the Mira Nila Chapel, Quezon City."
Born on June 27, 1914, Benitez served in the Senate from December 30, 1967 to September 23, 1972.
As the 7th elected woman senator, Benitez championed environmental protection, women's rights, education, and culture and the arts. She was the founder of the world-renowned Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company, and was the first Filipina chairperson of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. (FAST FACTS: Helena Benitez on her 100th birthday)
She was also the first Filipina and first woman to become the president of the governing council of the UN Environment Program (UNEP).
On June 4, 2012, the Senate also adopted a resolution – SR 786 – honoring Benitez for her service to the country. – Rappler.com
We keep you informed because you matter
We tell you the stories that matter. We ask, we probe, we explain.
But as we strive to do all this and speak truth to power, we face constant threats to our independence.
Help us make a difference through free and fearless journalism. With your help, you enable us to keep providing you with our brand of compelling and investigative work.
Joining Rappler PLUS allows us to build communities of action with you. PLUS members will receive our editorial newsletters and industry reports, get to join exclusive online conversations with our award-winning journalists, and be part of our monthly events.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.