BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday also ordered the flying of the Philippine flag in front of the provincial Capitol in Bacolod City at half mast this week, in honor of former board member Elvira Villena Guanzon, who passed away Saturday.
Guanzon, who succumbed to complications brought on by Parkinson’s disease, passed away at The Doctors’ Hospital in Bacolod City, her daughter, Dr. Ma. Luz Vicente Guanzon, said.
“The province of Negros Occidental lost an exemplar of public service last Saturday,” Lacson said.
Guanzon was active in local politics for more than three decades and was the longest serving board member of the province, Lacson said. She served as board member from 1962 to 1987 and practiced law for the less privileged until her 80s, he added.
“Her famed illustrious brand of public service can be attributed to none other than her genuine love for the people, for the Negrenses,” he said.
For some time, she was the only surviving politician-public servant of her generation. Her passing is a passing of an era, the governor said.
“The life she devoted to service and to worthy causes was a gift to the people of Negros Occidental, and we will always be grateful,” said Lacson, adding that she will remain an inspiration, worthy to be emulated.
Lacson, in behalf of the province of Negros Occidental, offered his condolences to her husband, Judge Sixto Guanzon, and children Judge Frances Guanzon, Dr. Mateo Guanzon III, Board Member Sixto Guanzon Jr., Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, Dr. Casten Guanzon, Dr. Jeffry Guanzon, Dr. Ma. Luz Vicenta Guanzon, Pengar Guanzon, and to the rest of the family.
Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer, in behalf of the province of Negros Occidental and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, also said they share in the sorrow of the Guanzon family on the passing of the former board member.
She was a dedicated public official who had made an impact not only on her constituents, but on the SP as well, he said.
Ferrer asked that the hearse carrying Guanzon’s remains passes by the Capitol Thursday morning before proceeding to her home in Cadiz City so that the provincial officials and staff “may in our own little way, honor her and also say our farewell.”
Her daughter, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, said she was informed that during their brief stop in front of the Capitol, the SP would turn over a resolution in honor of her mother and Lacson would hand over a Philippine flag to be draped on her coffin.
Guanzon’s remains will lie in state at the Acropolis Gardens in Barangay Bata, Bacolod City until Wednesday, and will be transferred to her home at Magsasay Street, Cadiz City on Thursday.
Mayor Salvador Escalante said the Philippine flag is also flying at half mast for Guanzon in Cadiz City where she served as councilor and vice mayor before she was elected board member of the province.
She will be buried at the Cadiz City Public Cemetery on Friday after a 10 a.m. mass at the Sto. Niño Parish Church and a brief stop in front of the old Cadiz City Hall where a resolution honoring her will be read and turned over to her family.*