ILOILO – Admirable. Caring. Kind. Noble. Upright.
This was how Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) member Demy Sonza (2nd District) described former Provincial Board colleague Vicente “Bugok” Ramirez who died recently.
The 75-year-old Ramirez, also a former mayor and vice mayor of Lambunao town, died of colon cancer on Dec. 14, 2018 and was buried this Jan. 8, 2019 at the Lambunao Catholic Cemetery.
According to Sonza, Ramirez succeeded in turning around his derogatory nickname (“bugok” means “rotten”) by being “good, dependable, sincere, and true.”
“The nickname became his distinctive badge as a lovable person, an excellent leader, and a dedicated public servant,” according to Sonza.
Ramirez served as SP member from 1998 to 2001. He chaired the committees on agriculture, environment and natural resources and cultural minorities and the underprivileged, and served as vice chairperson of the committees on appropriations and infrastructure.
He was a member of 11 other committees, said Sonza, a local historian.
Ramirez was reelected for another three-year term (2002 to 2005) and served as SP assistant floor leader and chairperson of the appropriations committee.
According to Sonza, Ramirez was elected vice mayor of Lambunao in 1971 at the age of 29, the youngest person to hold such post in Iloilo province that time.
He served as president of the Iloilo Vice Mayors League from 1972 to 1983 and was eventually recognized as “Outstanding Vice Mayor of the Philippines.”
Ramirez then served as mayor of Lambunao for 15 years, beginning on Dec. 13, 1983 when then mayor Ernesto Ladrido died.
Ramirez was born on Nov. 23, 1943./PN