Former Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali, 63

Published January 7, 2021, 5:33 PM

by Ben Rosario

Former Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali has died of complications from a late stage liver cancer and COVID 19 infection.

Umali, former chairman of the House Committee on Justice during the 17th Congress, died Thursday.  He was 63.

The former lawmaker presided over the impeachment hearings of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno as chairman of the House Committee on Justice during the 17th Congress.

Umali also played a vital role in the House probe into allegations that implicated Senator Leila de Lima in drug trafficking.

His successor, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Alfonso Umali Jr. confirmed his brother’s demise during a radio interview.  He said the former solon had been discovered to be suffering from fatty liver but was unable to address the health issue due to the pandemic.

The incumbent lawmaker disclosed that the family learned about his brother’s COVID 19 infection when he went for another checkup on December 12.  Laboratory findings then indicated he was positive for COVID 19 and was suffering from Stage 3 liver cancer.

According to the solon the former lawmaker had a cardiac arrest Thursday morning and was later pronounced dead by doctors.

Incumbent House members were saddened by Umali’s passing.

“Another good friend gone too soon, former Congressman Rey Umali of Mindoro,” said Deputy Speaker and 1Pacman Partylist Rep. Mikee Romero in a Facebook post.

Romero said Umali was among the most hardworking and highly reliable  member of the Lower House during his three terms as Mindoro Oriental congressman.  

In his social media post, Romero also called on the public not to “let your guard down”.

“Covid is still alive and is still vicious,” said Romero who also considered the late Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim  as a close friend.

Lim died of COVID 19 on Wednesday.

Deputy Speaker and Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante also lauded Umali for his sincerity in helping his constituents.

“His constituents trusted him for three straight terms, and Rep. Umali rewarded them by toiling tirelessly to bring development to his province as part of efforts to provide economic opportunities for his fellow Mindoreños,” said Abante.

He added: “Those of us (in) Congress lost a colleague today, while Oriental Mindoro lost a dedicated public servant.”