NEWS: Flowers, tributes pour in for Prospero Amatong, 77

may 18

Flowers pour in while tributes keep on coming for former Congressman Prospero Amatong, who succumbed in a hospital in New York City Saturday morning. He was 77 years old.

Reports said he fell on a pavement hitting his head while strolling with family members and friends in a park at New York City.

He was on vacation at the United States with his wife Luz and family members.

His son Congressman Rommel Amatong, who did not join in their US trip, said his father’s body would be brought home by next week.

For Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy, “he is exceptional as a leader, a master politician. I would say no one could ever duplicate his performance in our lifetime. He is the real “Mr. Service”.

“I am saddened by the death of a great man whose life was dedicated to mankind. It’s a loss to all of us. My prayers to the bereaved family. Farewell my brother,” said Davao del Norte Vice Governor Victorio Suaybaguio Jr., who was one of the close friends of Amatong when he was still the governor of the erstwhile undivided Davao del Norte.
On the otherhand, Laak Mayor Reynaldo Navarro has his succinct words for the man: “In politics he was a legend, a real champion who has never tasted defeat. He was proud of his achievements yet he remained humble and accessible to friends and foes alike. To us his political students, he was a genuine, larger-than-life guru. We will forever miss him.”
Boardmember Maricar Zamora-Apsay said: “We have lost a great leader who in his lifetime had taught us the markmanship of a true and successful politician. His legacy as a forefather of our province and his extraordinary public service will forever be encrypted in the annals of our local history. To me, he is not only to be remembered as a successful politician- he was himself an embodiment of the art of politics.”
For Nabunturan Councilor Raul Caballero: “A great loss of a great leader and statesman whose values and virtues in public service are worthy for emulation, foremost as guides for all politicians in town.”
In his over 45 years in public office, Nabunturan’s greatest father was unblemished as not a single Ombudsman complaint not even an anonymous one had been filed against him.

He was unscathed after serving as Nabunturan councilor (3 years), Nabunturan mayor (14 years, 2 years in New Corella), undivided Davao del Norte governor (9 years), District 2 Comval congressman (9 years), 2 years as project manager of the Philippine National Oil Corp. and 6 years as project engineer of the then Bureau of Public Works, his first stint in government.

He had two episodes when his mandate was cut short: the first on September 28, 1977 when he was purged by dictator Marcos for being with the opposition and replaced by Vice Mayor Zosimo Bugas who served for 4 years, and on March 31, 1986, after reclaiming his mayoral seat in 1980 polls, when he was appointed by President Cory Aquino as the OIC governor of the Davao del Norte.

Even on his political retirement starting in 2007, he was still considered an influential  political kingpin- kingmaker in town and even in the whole province.

When he did not run in the 2007 election and made true his earlier declaration of retiring from politics, it was hailed as a tough class act of seasoned and experienced politician.

But from it, he bequeathed his political power to his successor son now Congressman Rommel “Bobong” Amatong. At a time when he retired began the baptism of fire in politics of his political heir. All out of the service-rich patriarch, the neophyte scion becomes a shoo in, yet it showed to the world that there were no two or more Amatongs holding the reins of power at the same time. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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