By Ellson Quismorio
Another incumbent congressman has died in the ongoing 17th Congress.
Kabayan Party-list Rep. Ron Salo in a statement said his co-nominee, Rep. Ciriaco “Acoy” Calalang, passed away early morning Sunday after a massive stroke.
Calalang, the party-list’s third nominee, was 67. He is survived by his three adopted children: lawyer Joseph Ivan, Carissa and Carlo..
“Rep. Calalang was the good, favorite uncle within Kabayan. We will miss him dearly,” said Salo, chairman of Kabayan.
Calalang was confined at the De Los Santos Medical Center where he underwent surgery on
September 17, according to his executive assistant for 21 years, Mrs. Bern Fermin-Tica.
Calalang, a law professor and taxation lawyer, was sworn in as member of the House of Representatives only on January 20. He filled in the seat vacated last year by first nominee-turned-Presidential spokesperson, Harry Roque.
Calalang was the fifth representative in the current Congress to pass away, joining Batanes lone district Rep. Henedina Abad, Basilan lone district Rep. Jum Akbar, Mountain Province lone district Rep. Maximo Dalog, and Sulu first district Rep. Tupay Loong. His death brings down the total House membership to 290.
The other four lawmakers all died due to different ailments.
“Rep. Calalang’s public service as a congressman was brief but it was time and energies well-spent,” Salo said.
“He was able to author and co-author 47 house measures and helped raise public awareness about Kabayan’s platform and his key advocacies on juvenile justice, education, senior citizens, criminal justice, public transportation, and land use,” Salo added.
Kabayan said it will soon make an announcement regarding its fourth nominee, who will replace Calalang.
The public wake of the departed solon will be held at the St. Peter Memorial Chapels on Quezon Avenue in Quezon City starting Wednesday, September 26 at 5 p.m.