Lawmakers bid farewell to a true public servant

January 19, 2010 10:50 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Jan. 19 — Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday expressed condolences to the family of Press Secretary Cerge Remonde who passed away Tuesday morning due to cardiac arrest.

"It is with deep shock and sadness that we now have to bid farewell to our dear friend Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, a hard working public servant and one of the most trusted members of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Cabinet," said Speaker Prospero Nograles in a statement.

"Secretary Remonde is a great loss. He is a true public servant who has sacrificed most of his public life in the service of the people," he said.

Remonde was pronounced dead at the Makati Medical Center at 11:51 a.m. Tuesday, official sources said. He was 51.

"Isang malungkot na balita. Kaninang 11:51 ng umaga ang ating kalihim Secretary Remonde ay binawian ng buhay," (Sad news. At 11:51 this morning, Secretary Remonde passed away)," said Press Undersecretary for Operations Romeo Junia.

Remonde's personal staff found him unconscious in the bathroom of his home in Bel-Air Village in Makati and brought him to the hospital, he said.

The Speaker said Remonde "was an old personal friend from Cebu for years. He was the administration's first line of defense and did his utmost best with dedication, hard work and service to the news and the media profession. He withstood all the pressures and stood his ground even when faced with the most controversial issues during his watch."

"He (Remonde) died as a true media man till his last breath. I will miss him officially and personally as a friend in golf, in social circles and in all official government functions. Media lost a truly dedicated media man," he said.

On the other hand, Akbayan party-list, a known critic of the administration, also expressed condolence in the passing of Secretary Remonde.

"He lived his life according to his principles and remained committed to his duties and obligations even when confronted with harsh criticism and objections," said Akbayan party-list Reps. Walden Bello and Risa Hontiveros in a statement.

"That he (Remonde) stood up for convictions that more often than not clashed with our campaign for progressive reforms, he was a formidable adversary in the court of public opinion," they said.

"We would like to extend our most heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences to his wife, Marit Stinus-Remonde, and their family, loved ones, and friends," they said.

But as true Christians, Nograles said, "we must accept that only God knows our fate. I can only admire and miss his (Remonde) loyalty to duty, his professionalism, his candor and humility. He has earned an indelible niche in public service."

"In behalf of all the members and secretariat of the House of Representatives, we extend our deepest sympathy to his grieving family and loved ones. We will miss a true friend and a gentleman. May the heavens open its doors to this good man," he said. (PNA)



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