CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former Cagayan de Oro mayor Vicente Emano died midnight of Tuesday, May 7. He was 76 years old.
Misamis Oriental Governor Yvgeny Emano said in a statement that his father's remains would be cremated on Tuesday and his ashes would be brought to their residence in Barangay Gusa.
“His ashes will stay at home for 3 days and will be buried in Tagoloan, his hometown," the governor said.
Emano was running for Cagayan de Oro vice mayor in the May 13 elections alongside mayoral bet Jose Gabriel "Pompee" La Viña, but was mostly represented by his daughter, City Councilor Nadia Emano-Elipe, in campaign sorties.
Emano, considered as a local political kingpin and king maker, founded the local PaDayon Pilipino (PDP) Party.
Emano was also a prominent figure in the anti-Marcos movement in Northern Mindanao.
Emano started his political career in 1980 as mayor of Tagoloan town in Misamis Oriental. He was later appointed as officer-in-charge of Misamis Oriental and then ran and won as governor in 1988, and served until 1998.
He was Cagayan de Oro mayor from 1998 to 2007, and from 2010 to 2013. He lost to Oscar Moreno, the incumbent city mayor, in the 2013 mayoralty race.
Emano had served as a peacemaker in the region, effectively dealing with the New People's Army and the Moro National Liberation Front's Nur Misuari.
The local press saw see him as an ally as in his decades of public service, as he had never filed any libel case against journalists and supported press freedom. Emano also championed the causes of the masses from livelihood to basic services.
He led the modernization of the telecommunication sector in the city when he established the Samsung Telecom System in the city, which effectively led to the growth of the city.
Moreno, Emano's political archrival, expressed his condolences to the Emano family.
"Rest in peace, Dongkoy. We will meet again in our next life, and I pray that we shall be friends forever. My deepest condolences and sympathies to Mrs Aloma Beja-Emano and their children, and the rest of the family," Moreno said.
"Over these past years, we fought a hard and long battle. It brought the best from each of us. But deep inside, we have remained friends. I have forgiven him, and I hope that he has forgiven me too," the mayor also said.
La Viña expressed sadness over the death of his running mate.
"I am saddened that I lost my running mate who is my partner in my quest for a new Cagayan, but only our Creator knows when our end is,” La Viña said in a statement.
Former Cagayan de Oro 2nd District representative Rufus Rodriguez mourned the death of Emano, whom he described as a "titan" in local politics.
“We have lost a great man, a titan in [Cagayan de Oro] politics. We know him for his sincerity in helping the poor and the marginalized," said Rodriguez, a candidate for Cagayan de Oro congressman and was allied with Emano’s and La Viña’s parties.
“Although we were on different sides in many political exercises, I am comforted by the fact that I had a full reconciliation with him and greatly honored to be with him in his last political endeavor,” he added. – Rappler.com