MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former Senator Vicente Paterno died on Friday morning, November 21.
Paterno, founder and chairman of Philippine Seven Corporation, just turned 89 on November 18.
A press statement from the Paterno family said that the former senator “passed away peacefully in his sleep…surrounded by his family.”
“His health had deteriorated as he advanced into his late eighties, but he took these setbacks in stride and continued to work on his various advocacies as best he could. His final effort was to be the publication of his autobiography, On My Terms, which he wrote for his grandchildren,” the press statement read.
It added: “He often spoke about his life in terms of 3 tracks, moving through them by following his gut but accepting his fate: employment in the corporate sector, civil service, and entrepreneurship.”
He also wrote his own obituary, which includes:
Vicente T. Paterno
Senator, ‘87-‘92 ; Chairman, Board of Investments ‘70-’74,
Minister, of Industry ‘74-‘79, of Public Highways ‘79-’80;
Founding Chairman Philippine Seven Corp. from October 1982.
‘Exponent of principled governance’
Malacañang mourned the death of Paterno, whom it described as “an exponent of honesty, efficiency, faith, and love of country” throughout his career in public service and in the private sector.
“The nation has lost a distinguished public servant and exponent of principled governance,” said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte.
She said that testament to Paterno’s principled governance was his refusal “to surrender his independence or integrity” when he served the Marcos administration as chairman of the Board of Investment and as Minister of Public Highways.
“We extend our deepest sympathy to his widow and children; his passing is a loss to the country but his enduring example will remain a constant source of pride for his loved ones and the Filipino people whom he served so well,” Valte said.
Paterno, who was a senator from 1987 to 1992, served as Minister of Industry from 1974 to 1979 and Minister of Public Highways from 1979 and 1980. He was Deputy Executive Secretary for Energy of the Office of the President from 1986 to 1987.
In 2013, he was the recipient of the Ramon V del Rosario Sr Award for Nation Building from the Asian Institute of Management RVR Center for Corporate Social Responsibility.
The award recognized Paterno’s “exemplary personal life and professional career, marked by outstanding achievements” in public service and his distinguished career as a socially-responsible entrepreneur.
Paterno is survived by his wife Baby; his children Judy, Mailin, Maite, Victor and Tina; and his 8 grandchildren. – Rappler.com