MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Corazon Abalos, wife of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr., has died after testing positive for COVID-19, her family said Tuesday.
Abalos, mother of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, died Monday of severe sepsis, secondary to pneumonia due to coronavirus, the agency said in a statement.
"The Abalos family appreciates all the sympathies and prayers for our beloved Mama Cora," the statement read.
"The night before her passing, she tested positive for COVID-19. Some of our family members have been exposed and immediately subjected to testing pursuant to IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 protocols."
Test results of exposed relatives were negative but they will still undergo a 5-day quarantine and another swabbing, the MMDA said.
A service and mass will be held on February 2 should "everything and everyone be cleared," it added.
Benhur, in a Facebook post, said his mother's "unconditional love would always be treasured and imprinted in our hearts."
"We would pass this to our children and our children’s children...I know of how you fought up to your last breath to fulfill this dream to be with dad and us your family for almost 7 months," he said.
"Our heart is shattered right now of your passing. Our belief is anchored on our Christian Faith; the promise of Eternal Life. Have a good rest mommy. We know that you are with the good Lord, happy and at peace. You have earned your place in heaven."
The MMDA chairman, in a post in July, said his father has recovered from COVID-19 while his mother remained in the hospital.
"I'm still in the hospital, taking care of my mom. She has already developed COVID antibodies in her system. She might be off the ventilator machine by Friday. Again thank you, all the doctors, nurses, hospital staff, friends, relatives, & persons who have provided support, and prayers during the most trying of times," he said.
Mandaluyong City councilor Charisse Marie Abalos-Vargas paid tribute to her grandmother, saying she was "strength personified."
"I always knew that love, faith and devotion was possible and true because I saw it all in you. Through the tough times, you stood your ground in prayer and faith. Even until the last," she said in a Facebook post.
"Today you fought your last and final battle. The most courageous woman I know. Rest now, Mama. We will never be ready, I will never be prepared for you to leave us. But I know you’re there with Ciara now. No more hurt. No more pain. I love you."
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo also mourned the death of Abalos, whom he described as "a beautiful, gentle, kind, thoughtful and generous person, who always had a smile on her face. "
"She was very much loved by her family because of her loving and caring devotion to them, as well as the people of Mandaluyong, owing to her sweet and gentle ways and passion to serve the female population of the city where she established foundations for both the adult women and Girl Scouts of Mandaluyong," he said.
"We pray that she may rest in eternal peace and perpetual light will shine upon her. We are comforted by the thought that the angels in heaven will accompany her in her voyage to the great beyond. Our fondest memories of her will always be a comfort as well. Farewell our dearest friend. We love you Core."