President Duterte is deeply saddened by the death of another member of his Cabinet.
Presidential Adviser for Legislative Affairs Adelino Sitoy passed away Thursday at the age of 85. He served as vice mayor of Cordova, Cebu before joining the Duterte Cabinet in 2016.
The President announced the passing of Sitoy in the middle of a meeting with Cabinet members Thursday night and offered a moment for silent prayer.
“I’m very sad to relay to you the death of the second Cabinet member to die. First was (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority head) Danny Lim. Second was Secretary Sitoy of the Legislative-Executive Liaison Office,” the President said in a taped televised address Thursday, April 15.
“I will call for a break for about a minute and request to stand and we pray in silence for his soul,” he said.
Prior to the President’s remarks, the Palace extended its condolences to the family and colleague of Sitoy and paid tribute to the Cabinet member.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo also mourned the sudden demise of Sitoy, calling him “a personal friend, a brother in the profession and a fellow member of Cabinet.”
He said Sitoy, as Presidential Adviser on Legislative Affairs and head of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO), provided “invaluable help” to the Duterte administration in pursuing the passage of vital legislative measures.
“By silently but tirelessly coordinating with both chambers of Congress toward the passage of administration bills, we now enjoy landmark laws which aim to uplift the lives of our countrymen,” he said.
Panelo also remembered that Sitoy lived a life of service to the public.
Before being elected as a member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Cordova, Cebu in 1975 and a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Cebu until 1984, Sitoy was a prosecutor in the cities of Cebu and Toledo. He also served as a Commissioner and Director of the Cebu Port Authority and Metropolitan Cebu Water District, respectively.
Sitoy was elected as an assemblyman, representing the province of Cebu, in 1984 and as mayor of Cordova from 2007 to 2016.
He won as vice mayor of Cordova in the 2016 elections but quit to assume the Cabinet post in September 2016.
Panelo said he would also miss “the dancing prowess on the dance floor of a man who has lived a life of selflessness and humility.”
“We honor and pay tribute to his devotion to public service,” he said.
“We relay our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, relatives and loved ones even as we, in the official family of President Duterte, mourn the passing of one of our respected members. May Secretary Sitoy rest in eternal peace and the perpetual light shine upon him,” he added.
Sitoy was born on February 6, 1936 in Cordova, Cebu. He earned his law degree from the University of San Carlos in Cebu City and later a master’s degree in the University of Southern Philippines in Cebu City. The university professor also became Dean of the College of Law of University of Cebu from 2002 to 2007.