BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
The Philippine flag flew at half-staff in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City yesterday in honor of former governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., 84, who passed away Thursday night after dedicating more than five decades of his life to public service.
The hearse carrying the remains of Marañon and his family led by his wife, Dr. Marilyn Marañon, made a brief stop yesterday afternoon in front of the Negros Occidental Capitol in Bacolod City where he served as governor from 2010 to 2019 for rites in his honor.
His remains were then brought to his hometown in Sagay City where he will be laid to rest Sunday.
Residents and officials of northern Negros, some waving flowers, flaglets and placards, lined the streets as the hearse passed to bid goodbye to the former governor.
In Cadiz City firetrucks gave the Marañon’s convoy a water salute.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, who led the rites in honor of the former governor in front of the Capitol, said Negros Occidental lost a father and an exemplar of public service with the death of Marañon.
“It is a sad day for many of us, if not all, in Negros,” Lacson said, pointing out that Marañon gave his best to the province by putting in place numerous projects that will have lasting effects on Negrenses.
Lacson, who described Marañon as having among the keenest political minds in Negros Occidental, said he will be missed and will remain an inspiration.
“The life he dedicated to public service spans more than five decades which he spent addressing the prevalent problems of his hometown, his district and the province,” Lacson said.
Lacson said he was Marañon’s vice governor for six years and it was a privilege to have worked with him and to have learned from him.
The governor handed the Philippine flag to Marañon’s widow as he expressed his condolences for her family’s loss.
Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said with the death of Marañon he has lost a good friend, father figure, and a leader of their party, the United Negros Alliance.
His legacy will live on in Negros Occidental, Ferrer said, pointing out that many of the projects Marañon started are being continued under the Lacson administration.
Marañon’s daughter, Agnes Iida, in behalf of her family thanked the governor, the vice governor and the people of Negros Occidental for the overwhelming love they have shown for her father.
Some Capitol employees, at the rites, were seen in tears.
Negros Oriental Vice Governor Mark Macias, in a Facebook post, said “we on the other side of Negros Island also mourn the passing of Gov. Freddie Marañon. He was responsible for the revival and the attainment of the Negros Island Region dream. Short-lived as it was, the benefits of that dream were already starting to be felt.”
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Bacolod deeply mourns the passing of Marañon, who will be remembered for his long years as governor of Negros Occidental.
“His life of public service, spanning more than five decades, is one that is worthy of recording in our books,” he said, adding that he ordered the flags at the Bacolod City Government Center, Old City Hall, and Public Plaza to be flown at half-staff in tribute to the former governor.*