Seneres' withdrawal a family decision, says daughter

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The decision of OFW Family party-list Representative Roy Señeres Sr. to withdraw from the 2016 presidential race before his untimely death on Monday was a family decision, according to his daughter.

Hannah Señeres said her father was suffering from diabetes and was in no condition to weather the rigors of a 90-day electoral campaign.

"It was the decision of the family. Nakita na rin namin, you know, given his situation, we didn't want him to be exposed anymore to the rigors of campaigning, to the stress, so nagdecide na 'yung buong pamilya, si Dad na rin, that he should prioritize his health," Señeres told DZMM.

"So 'yun talagang avoidance of stress, as advised by the doctor, that made him decide to withdraw."

Hannah said her father had been confined in the hospital since the end of January, and was only transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) a few days before he died.

According to Hannah, their father's death came as a surprise since he was relatively still strong a few days ago.

Although he lost weight, Señeres was still able to perform his duties as a presidential candidate.

"At that time, when we visited the station, he was strong. Ang diabetes naman, it was something that was being managed at that time. But of course, hindi rin naman kasi natin alam, it's not really the diabetes that got him but the complications," Hannah added.

Fighting until the end

For Hannah, her father succeeded in fighting for the labor sector until his last breath.

"My dad, first and foremost, is a very loving father, is a very loving family man, a very good provider. He was our rock, and he was very, very passionate in helping the sector that was very dear to his heart, the labor sector, the OFWs."

"Nabanggit niya before that if ever God calls him na, he wants to do so with his boots on the battlefield. Until the very end, he was still fighting," Hannah said.

She added that her father's passion has long been passed on to them.

"Alam naman kasi namin na ever since he started his career, he's really been fighting for the labor sector. 'Yun talaga 'yung passion niya eh. And that passion was something na pati kami na magkakapatid, we made it also our life mission."

Señeres formally withdrew his bid for the presidency in the May 9 elections on Friday afternoon.

The former ambassador, who announced his bid to run for president under the ticket of the Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka last October, cited health reasons for backing out of the race.

Señeres was supposed to personally submit a medical certificate to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) this week for his withdrawal from the elections.

Señeres' remains lie in Funeraria Paz in Sucat, Parañaque City. The family will start accepting visitors Monday night.