MANILA (UPDATE) - Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Francisco Jun Datol has passed away, the House of Representatives secretary general confirmed Monday.
Datol, representative of the Senior Citizens party-list, "passed away a few hours ago," House Secretary General Jose Luis Montales said in a statement.
There was no other immediate information about Datol's death.
"We will give you the details as soon as we receive them," said Montales. "May he rest in peace. Our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones."
Datol regained his seat as Senior Citizens congressman last December 2019 after an internal party dispute.
Datol is the 4th House member who died during the 18th Congress following the deaths of Benguet Rep. Nestor Fongwan, Camarines Sur Rep. Marissa Andaya, and LPGMA Rep. Rodolfo Albano.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the chamber is planning a memorial service not just for the lawmakers but also for frontliners who died as the country battled the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Si Cong. Datol, ayaw talaga magpapigil, kahit may edad na. Sabi nga niya, during these times of crisis, lalo nang kailangan ng representative ng senior citizen," Cayetano said.
(Cong. Datol was unstoppable. He said, during these times of crisis, a representative for senior citizens was especially needed.)
"Definitely, the people I mentioned will be very much missed. And nakakalungkot, kung sino pa yung masisipag, talagang front and center, sila pa ang, you know, tinamaan ng tragedy during this time."
(Definitely, the people I mentioned will be very much missed. And it's sad that those who are hardworking, always in front and the center, were hit by tragedy during this time.) - with reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News