By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang expressed its condolences to the loved ones and supporters of former Senator Rene Espina who was reported to have passed away at the age of 89 to kidney complications.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the country is grateful for Espina’s service to the nation.
“The Palace expresses its deep sympathy to the family, friends, colleagues and supporters of former Senator Rene Espina,” Panelo said Sunday morning.
“The Filipino people are indeed grateful for the long track record of public service Senator Espina gave to the nation. May eternal rest grant to this faithful servant of the Lord, may perpetual light shine upon him, and may his soul, through the mercy of God, rest in peace,” he added.
SunStar Cebu reported Saturday that Espina succumbed to kidney complications Friday. He was 89.
At 33, he became the youngest ever administrator of the Social Security Services during the Diosdado Macapagal Administration before running for governor under the Liberal Party in 1963.
Espina also served as one of the advisers of former President Ferdinand Marcos after Congress was dissolved following the imposition of Martial Law in 1972.
In his statement, Panelo credited Espina for having crafted the country’s first anti-drug law, Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 — the precursor of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Prior to his election to the Senate Espina served as Governor of Cebu and Secretary of the Public Works, Transportation and Communication during the Marcos Administration.