MANILA (UPDATE) - Vergel “Nene” Aguilar, former mayor of Las Piñas City, passed away Friday morning, the city’s public information office said. He was 74.
In a statement, his wife incumbent Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar said Nene succumbed to a heart ailment at 4:12 a.m. after being confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center - Global City in Taguig.
Nene served as mayor for 6 terms over 18 years, first from 1995 to 2004 then from 2007 to 2016.
His first term saw Las Piñas, a suburb in southern Metro Manila, achieve cityhood.
Since then, Nene and Mel have alternated as the city’s chief executives.
"Nene, it pains all of us that you are no longer with us, but we know that you have accomplished your mission in this world, not only to your family and loved ones, but to the hundreds of families you have served and supported throughout your years in service,” Mel said in the statement.
A son of long-serving Las Piñas mayor and congressman Filemon Aguilar, Nene was a property developer and businessman before running for public office in 1992.
He is the brother of Sen. Cynthia Villar.
According to a biography on the city's website, Las Piñas was recognized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government under Nene's term as one of the country’s best managed cities and named an Awardee for Environmental Protection by the United Nations.
“The legacy and selfless public service you have rendered as mayor for 18 years to the people of Las Pirias will serve as my inspiration,” Mel added.
"Your years as the local chief executive have led to the unprecedented growth of our city. We will miss you very much."
Nene and Mel have 4 children: Las Piñas Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery, Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo, Alelee Aguilar Andanar, and Anne Virgil Aguilar.
The family is set to disclose details of Nene’s wake.