MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives, through a memorial service on Thursday, honored lawmakers, as well as administrative and congressional staff who died in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The memorial service was led by House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza.
Among those who were given the tribute were former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III; late Antipolo City Rep. Resurreccion Acop; former Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia; and former senators John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña and Victor Ziga
Apart from the said lawmakers, 26 other members from past Congresses and 23 House employees who died in 2021, were also honored during the memorial service held at the plenary session inside the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City.
The legislative chamber traditionally holds necrological services for each legislator but opted to organize a single memorial service honoring those who died these past few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Velasco, in his eulogy, said the memorial service was offered not only to mourn but also celebrate the lives of departed House members and employees.
“We cherish the moments they spent on public service, crafting relevant laws, engaging in plenary debates, touching the lives of their constituents, especially the poor and the deprived,” Velasco said.
“We cherish those moments because it made our lives a little better than it was. The Philippines is all the richer because you, their family, shared their life with us,” he added.
Velasco then presented the framed Oath of Office, Legislative Performance Record and Resolution of Condolence to the families and allies of the five deceased House members.
The House chief also presented legislative memorabilia to the families of the following former House members:
- Former Cebu City and COCOFED Party-list Rep. Emerito Calderon
- Former Cebu Province Rep. Benhur Salimbangon
- Former Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali
- Former Ilocos Sur Rep. Mariano Tajon
- Former Batangas Rep. Conrado “Dong” Apacible
- Former Zambales Rep. James Gordon Jr.
- Former Cavite Rep. Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi
- Former Cebu Rep. Jose Gullas
- Former Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) Secretary Adelino Sitoy
- Former Assemblyman of Misamis Occidental Henry Regalado Sr.
- Former Palawan Rep. Douglas Hagedorn
- Former Oriental Mindoro Rep. Jesus Punzalan
- Former Dinagat Island Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr.
- Former Sultan Kudarat Rep. Angelo Montilla – Sultan Kudarat
- Former Davao del Sur Rep. Douglas Cagas
- Former Cavite Rep. Dominador Nazareno, Jr.
- Former Pampanga Rep. Emigdio Lingad
- Former Tarlac Rep. Jeci Lapus
- Former Tarlac Rep. Herminio Aquino
- Former Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte Sr.
- Former Northern Samar Rep.Emil Ong
- Former Cagayan de Oro Rep. Erasmo Damasing Jr.
- Former Iloilo Rep. Oscar Garin Sr.
- Former Maguindanao Rep. Didagen Dilangalen
- Former Cotabato Rep. Peter Paul Jed Falcon
Likewise, Velasco also presented the House offering of legislative memorabilia to the families of the following former House employees:
- Renee Margaret Angeles
- Roberto Aquino
- Roberto Orpilla
- William Marte
- Marcelo Castro
- Edwin Ubando
- Diomedes Goboleo
- Virgina Rizardo
- Jose Cruz
- Concepcion Chipeco
- Jose Editho Falceso
- Grace Mabunga
- Dennis Blasé
- Aurelio Centeno
- Melchor Pigarot
- Rachel Rodeles-Santiago
- Juanito Benavidez
- Alex Bisera
- Raul Dantes
- Gregorio Valdenarro
- Violeta Corral
- Salvador Guevarra
- Milagros Camacho
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