Former congressman Antonio Cuenco passes away due to COVID-19

Joworski Alipon, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 27 2020 06:29 PM | Updated as of Jun 27 2020 07:45 PM

CEBU--Cebu City councilor and former congressman Antonio Cuenco passed away Saturday, June 27, his son confirmed in a social media post. He was 84.

"It happened so fast and has left us very shocked to realize that the good man that we had the opportunity to have as our father and a husband to my mother, Nancy, is gone," James Cuenco wrote on Facebook.

The family confirmed that Antonio Cuenco died of COVID-19, but James said they do not know how he contracted the disease.

The elder Cuenco experienced mild fever and coughing on June 18, and was swabbed on the same day.

The results came out two days later and turned up positive, James said.

The Cuencos have a lengthy political history. 

Antonio Cuenco is the son of former governor Manuel Cuenco and grandson of former Senate President Mariano Jesus Cuenco.

At 29, Antonio was one of the youngest district representative elected during the 6th Congress. He became secretary-general of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly in 2010.

During his stint at the House of Representatives, Cuenco was among the authors of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Last September 2019, Cuenco urged the national police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to be more transparent in submitting the inventory of all confiscated items in every anti-drug operation. 

This came after several police officers were alleged to have participated in "drug recycling operations."