MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) mourned the passing of Vice Admiral Rolando Legaspi, described as an official who was “very humble and simple, and well-loved by all.”
Captain Armand Balilo, PCG spokesperson, said the 55-year-old Legaspi died from cardiac arrest on Wednesday, August 21.
Legaspi, the deputy commandant for operations, was the PCG officer-in-charge at the time of his death while PCG commandant, Admiral Elson Hermogino, was on an official trip in Israel, Balilo said.
According to Balilo, Legaspi’s “last act” was to preside over the turnover ceremony of the PCG’s Gender and Development and Internal Audit Offices last August 20, Tuesday.
“We are mourning. He is a great leader and a big loss to the PCG. Well-loved ng mga tao. Napaka-humble at napaka-simple (He is well-loved by the people; very humble and very simple),” Balilo said, still referring to Legaspi in the present tense.
The PCG held a memorial service for Legaspi at the PCG Headquarters on Friday. Another memorial service at the Bonifacio Naval Station was held the following night, which was attended by the official’s mistahs from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Hinirang” Class of 1987.
“He had served as a real inspiration to many and will long be remembered for the professionalism and strong character he exemplified,” the PCG said in a Facebook post.
Legaspi had commanded major units such as PCG districts in the National Capital Region-Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, and Palawan.
A decorated officer, Legaspi served as chief of the PCG’s Marine Environmental Protection Command, Surface Support Force, Education and Training Command.
Legaspi was also the commanding officer of two Coast Guard search and rescue vessels namely BRP Davao Del Norte (SARV 3504) and BRP Pampanga (SARV 004).
Legaspi’s internment is on August 28, Wednesday, at the Mt. Zion Memorial Park in Bonuan Boquig, Dagupan, Pangasinan. He is survived by his wife Suzanne and two children, Roljend Peeme and Rae-Ann Philline. – Rappler.com