HOUSE Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez expressed their profound condolences to the family of Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Francisco “Jun” Datol Jr. who passed away last Monday.
“Thank you Cong. Datol for your malasakit (compassion) to senior citizens. You’ve been very instrumental on the effective implementation of various programs and services, especially on the development of senior citizens and advancing their health and well-being. We extend our condolences and sympathies to the bereaved family of our colleague, Cong. Jun Datol.
Your memory will forever remain in our hearts and minds,” said the Romualdez couple.
The Romualdez couple also described Datol as a dedicated public servant and a dynamic and highly respected senior member of the House of Representatives.
“Cong. Jun was a beloved and exemplary leader and a man of vision, action, and compassion who championed the care for elderly.
His tireless work and advocacies have assisted our aging population through community-based health, rehabilitation, educational and socio-economic programs for the senior citizens,” the Romualdez couple said.
Datol was one of 18 party-list lawmakers who are allies or friends of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) led by Martin Romualdez as President.
The 18th Congress lost its fourth member with Datol’s passing.
“It is with deep sadness that we inform you that Cong. Jun Datol passed away a few hours ago,” said House Secretary General Atty. Jose Luis Yulo.
There were no details on the demise of Datol, chairman of the House committee on senior citizens, as of press time.
The three other House members of the 18th Congress who have died were LPG Marketers Association Inc. (LPGMA) party-list Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Albano Jr. who passed away on November 5, 2019 at the age of 85; Benguet Rep. Nestor Fongwan, 68, who died on December 18, 2019; and Camarines Sur Rep. Marissa Andaya who passed away on July 5, 2020 at the age of 51.
Before the formal opening of the 18th Congress on July 22 last year, then incoming A Teacher party-list Rep. Mariano "Nonoy" Piamonte passed away on June 13, 2019, according to his former Chief of Staff Sofonias P. Gabonada Jr.
Gabonada said his late boss was replaced by A Teacher Rep. Victoria Umali.
Recently, Datol pushed for the passage of House Bill (HB) 06865, An Act Mandating the Conduct of Polymerase Chain reaction COVID-19 Testing for the Vulnerable Members of Society to Stop the Transmission of the Disease.
He also authored measures aimed at protecting the elderly, including HB 06997 or An Act Protecting Senior Citizen From Violence, Defining Elder Abuse, And Prescribing Penalties Thereof and HB 06148 or an Act Granting Additional Benefits And Privileges To Senior Citizens With Disabilities.
Datol belatedly took his oath last December as the duly recognized representative of the Senior Citizens party-list due to pending issue on recognition of its official nominees before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
He was a member of the previous 17th Congress with another nominee, former Rep. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay.