Ex-senator Juan Flavier dies

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 30 2014 05:10 PM | Updated as of Oct 31 2014 09:33 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - Former Senator Juan Flavier passed away on Thursday due to multiple organ failure. He was 79.

A former secretary of the Department of Health (DOH) during the Ramos administration, Flavier became famous for his slogan "Let's DOH it."

He also authored the books "Doctor to the Barrios" (3 volumes), which described his experiences as a doctor in rural communities in Nueva Ecija and Cavite. 

During his term as health secretary, he came under heavy criticism from the Catholic Church due to his campaign to promote contraceptives.

Flavier was elected senator in 1995 and served the in the upper chamber until 2007.

In an interview on ANC, Flavier's son-in-law Roby Alampay said the former senator remained lucid despite suffering from a number of minor strokes in the past three years.

He also said Flavier was able to attend board meetings of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), where he continued to serve until a year before he was hospitalized.

"Up until we brought him here he was lucid, he followed the news, you can discuss politics with him, he was a bit slower in his comebacks, in his insights, but the insights would come, and you can see that everything was intact: his humor, his insights, his analytical skills, his appreciation for everything and everyone," Alampay added.

Flavier was brought to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute on September 10. He was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) on September 11, where he stayed until his death.

"Obviously the pneumonia ravaged his lungs, it has weakened his heart as well. For the most part the doctors and nurses of NKTI had taken care of him very well, kaya malumanay naman po at hindi po naghirap ang butihing senador," Alampay said.

The family of the late senator also discouraged people from sending flowers.

"We would like to discourage the sending of flowers and we will announce a charity where we encourage people to donate."

Flavier's remains will be brought to the Church of the Risen Lord inside the University of the Philippines Diliman campus Friday morning, where they will stay until Monday afternoon. Cremation will follow Monday evening.