SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Friday led the House of Representatives in paying a collective tribute to its incumbent and former members, as well as employees of the chamber who passed away, including those who have succumbed to COVID-19.
The House held a memorial service for Representatives Nestor Fongwan of Benguet, Marissa Andaya of Camarines Sur, Francisco Datol Jr. of Senior Citizens Party-list and Maria Bernardita Ramos of the 2nd District of Sorsogon, who were not accorded the traditional necrological services due to safety and health restrictions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Ito na marahil ang ating huling pamamaalam: na kahit na tila bumaligtad na ang mundo, gumawa po tayo ng sariling paraan para sama-sama, bilang isang mas matibay at maaasahang institusyon, ay lalo nating mapabuti ang pagpapanday ng batas sa ating bayan. Ito na marahil ang rurok na parangal natin sa kanila,” the Speaker said in his eulogy delivered during the “In Memoriam” tribute held at the House plenary.
The event was one of the culminating activities of HRep Month, marking the 113th anniversary of the creation of the Philippine Assembly of elected district representatives.
The legislative body also paid its respects to former House members who died in the past year, namely, former Speaker Arnulfo “Noli” P. Fuentebella, Jr. of Camarines Sur, former senators and representatives Heherson Alvarez of Isabela, Maria Teresa Aquino-Oreta of Malabon-Navotas, and Edgardo Ilarde of Rizal.
Tribute were also given to former Representatives Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. of Tarlac, Romulo Lumauig of Ifugao, Amadeo Perez, Jr. of Pangasinan, Milagrosa Tan of Samar, Edgar Mendoza of Batangas, Martin Isidro of Manila, Antonio Cuenco of Cebu, Arcadio Gorriceta of Iloilo, Jose Ping-ay of the COOP NATCCO Partylist, Alfredo Marañon Jr. of Negros Occidental, Augusto Syjuco Jr. of Iloilo, Zenaida De Castro-Maranan of 1-UTAK Partylist, Elnorita Tugung of Basilan, Pacifico Fajardo of Nueva Ecija, and Yusop Jikiri of Sulu.
Velasco expressed his gratitude to the deceased legislators and employees for their contributions to the country and their dedication to serve even in the midst of the pandemic.
“At kung mayroon mang katangian ang bawat isang pinararangalan ngayon, ito po ay ang kagustuhan nilang patuloy na maglingkod sa ating bayan hanggang sa kanilang huling hininga. Pinili nilang maging mandirigma. Pinagpipitaganang mambabatas man, o empleyado ng Kamara, bawat isa ay piniling maglingkod sa bayan ng dalisay at walang pag-iimbot,” the Speaker said.
Velasco also took a moment to share some love and respect for 21 House employees who passed away in 2020, describing them as “unsung heroes” who deserve as much recognition for their contribution in the strengthening and maintaining the integrity of Congress.