MANILA - Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. died of acute respiratory distress due to COVID-19, the group's nominee said Tuesday.
"It is with deep sadness that we inform our constituents, the senior citizens and retirees nationwide, that Rep. Francisco G. Datol, Jr has died because of acute respiratory distress due to COVID-19 on Aug. 10, 2020," Senior Citizens party-list nominee Rodolfo Ordanes said in a statement.
Datol passed away Monday, but the cause of death was not immediately disclosed.
He was the 4th member in the lower chamber who died during the 18th Congress following the deaths of Benguet Rep. Nestor Fongwan, Camarines Sur Rep. Marissa Andaya and LPGMA Rep. Rodolfo Albano.
Ordanes, who is next in line to take over the congressional seat, said he would not let Datol's death "be in vain" and would continue to push for the welfare of their constituents.
"Cong. Datol was tireless in distributing vaccines to seniors in different communities until he succumbed to COVID-19," he said.
Datol was first elected as Senior Citizens party-list representative in the 2016 polls and was reelected in the following election.
He filed and authored the law creating the National Commission of Senior Citizens.
"Cong. Datol never missed a congressional meeting even during the COVID-19 pandemic to fight for the rights and welfare of seniors. He championed the Universal Pension bill and the amendments to the Centenarian Act," Ordanes said.