A prominent former politician in the Philippines, who served as mayor of a large city, as head of a governmental development agency, and in that nation's Congress, has passed away.
Bayani Fernando, the former mayor of Marikina and congressional representative of that city's district, was 77 when he died on Friday, according to PhilStar.
His death was confirmed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, of which he served as chairperson for several years, as the agency expressed how it was "deeply saddened and shocked about the sudden demise" of Fernando.
According to The Manila Times, Fernando's death on Friday came as a result of injuries sustained earlier that day in an accident while working at his home.
He had reportedly been making repairs to the home's roof when he fell from that roof to the ground and was ultimately declared dead after being rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment of his injuries.
The former politician is survived by his wife Marides and their daughter Tala Fernando-Ang. The outpouring of grief and tributes following his accident and death showed that he would be deeply missed by many Filipinos.
Per the Times, Fernando was born in San Juan City in 1946 and was initially a mechanical engineer before entering the realm of politics when he was elected mayor of Marikina City, a post he held from 1999 until 2001. He then served as chair of the MMDA from 2002 until 2009, with a brief stint in 2003 as secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Fernando also unsuccessfully ran for vice president in 2010 alongside then-Sen. Richard Gordon, but was later successfully elected to Congress in 2016 as the representative of the First District of Marikina, a position he held until he retired in 2022.
Rep. Stella Quimbo, who serves Marikina City's Second District, said in a statement translated from Filipino, "We are in mourning with the Fernando family and the city of Marikina," and added, "Your legacy in Marikina will remain forever. Thank you, BF, the Father of Modern Marikina, for your service."
The Times noted that the MMDA also issued a statement following Fernando's death and said, "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."
"A man of few words, Fernando is known to be a workaholic and a disciplinarian among MMDA employees," the agency said as it highlighted how he "used scientific and practical approaches in his quest to solve the problems of Metro Manila," and added, "Thank you very much for your contributions. Rest now, Sir, for you already got the job done."
The Filipino House of Representatives also issued a statement and said, "It is with a heavy heart that we offer our condolences on the passing of former Marikina City Mayor and Representative Bayani Fernando, a dedicated public servant who left an indelible mark on the city of Marikina and our nation."
The statement referenced his service to Marikina and how he "transformed the city into a model for others to follow, exemplified his commitment to progress and development," as well as his leadership of the MMDA, "where he worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for countless Filipinos in the capital region."
"His legacy of visionary leadership and dedication to the betterment of our communities will forever be remembered," the Congress added. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time. May he rest in eternal peace."