MANILA (UPDATED) — Former Marikina mayor and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chief Bayani Fernando passed away on Friday. He was 77.
Fernando's passing was confirmed by his wife, Maria Lourdes.
"BF was a man of vision, political will and action. He left his own brand of leadership and good governance as former Chairman of the MMDA, Mayor of Marikina City, Secretary of the DPWH, and representative of the first district of Marikina. His great work as a public servant will always be remembered and appreciated," she said in a statement.
In a statement, the MMDA said it was "deeply saddened and shocked" about the sudden passing of Fernando, who helmed the agency from June 5, 2002 to Nov. 25, 2009.
The MMDA lauded Fernando's "scientific and practical approaches" in solving the issues in Metro Manila during his term.
"Under his helm, he put the MMDA in the spotlight. He was the person behind rapid bus lanes and the 'Metro Gwapo' campaign transforming the region into a livable metropolis," it added.
Apart from his sidewalk clearing operations, Fernando also initiated controversial projects such as the "wet rag" scheme where MMDA personnel are supposed to throw wet rags at jaywalkers.
He served as mayor of Marikina City from 1992 to 2001. He was succeeded by his wife.
He is credited for transforming the so-called shoe capital of the Philippines from a 4th class municipality to a model city with 55 citations and distinctions.
In 2003, Fernando served as Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) secretary under the Arroyo administration.
He lost in the 2009 vice presidential race.
Fernando later served as congressional representative of Marikina from 2016 to 2022.
In last year's elections, Marikina Mayor Marcelino "Marcy" Teodoro was re-elected after beating Fernando.
Fernando earned a Mechanical Engineering degree from the Mapua Institute of Technology in 1967. He pursued graduate studies in the same institution in 1983.
Funeral services will be held at Queen of Angels Chapel, Riverbanks, Marikina City, according to his family.
—With report from Jose Carretero, ABS-CBN News