Ex-Trade minister Luis Villafuerte Sr. dies at 86

September 9, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 931 views

CAMARINES Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte has announced the passing of his father, Luis “Louie” R. Villafuerte Sr. — who served as Trade minister under the Marcos administration —- at the age of 86.

“It is with great pain and sadness that I announce the demise of a loved and dear one, My Father, Luis R. Villafuerte Sr., one of the most Illustrious political leaders of our country,” LRay said after his father My passed away Wednesday morning at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City.

The late Villafuerte was considered by many as the political of kingpin of the Bicol Region.

Highly respected by many for his intellectual prowess, creative thinking and out of the box ideas on anything.

As a public servant, Villafuerte served for over 40 years as a member of the Batasan Pambansa/Assemblyman (1978-1986), Minister of Trade (1979-1981) under President Marcos, secretary of Government Reorganization under President Cory Aquino, longest serving governor of Camarines Sur for 15 years, three-term congressman from 2004 to 2013.

He is survived by his loving wife, Nelly Favis Villafuerte, his children, Mariano Jose, Mylene, Lalaine, Maria Rita,Lori Lisa and LRay and Grandchildren. His sisters, Pura Luisa, Carmen and Lina.

LRay said his father was “not only my mentor and idol but also to many.” “He continues to be our inspiration as he always motivated us to be
the best on whatever we do. Even if you thought you have achieved the best, he would express that there is room for improvement,” Villafuerte said.

“More than his great mind, he had such a big heart! His compassion was exceptional and astounding. If my father believed in something, he will fight for it intensely and will not stop at anything. He was a TRUE CHAMPION of good causes and a fighter! But more than being a fighter; he truly loved serving our people and nation. In fact when my sister Mylene was with him praying in his last few moments, my Father said, I pray for the Nation, Lord!, when my sister asked if there was anything else he wanted to pray for, He reiterated, Just pray for this Nation,” Villafuerte said.

LRay said his father was “a genuine public servant and servant leader and will continue to inspire us and the future generation!”

“We love you very much and you will truly be missed!” He said. “Thank you so much to all who have expressed and continue to convey their love, support and sympathy ! Our family will be forever grateful!”

He was remembered in Congress as a person who stood up, debated and interpellated in almost all major issues, LRay said.

Villafuerte principally authored 67 bills that were enacted into law.

Noteworthy is his House Bill (HB) 0063, which was enacted into law as Republic Act (RA) No. 10157 or the “Institutionalizing the Kindergarten Education Into the Basic Education System.”

This law makes it mandatory for every child to go through preparatory schooling before going to grade one.

He strongly believed that value formation does not only start at home but must continually be reinforced at the school level from kindergarden to elementary and secondary levels.

LRay said his father was a recipient of three presidential awards:

The Gold Medallion of President Carlos P. Garcia the Gold Medal of President Ramon Magsaysay and Gold Medal of President Manuel Roxas.

He was also cited as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines” (TOYM) on Investment Banking and International Finance.

Villafuerte had served as the first President of the League of Provinces and as chairman for two consecutive terms (1998-2004). He strongly advocated local autonomy.

Prior to his stint as a public servant, Villafuerte was also a lawyer, a founding partner of the prestigious Law firm Villafuerte, Zamora & Associates, a technoprenuer, and investment banker in New York & Washington DC before being a pioneer of the profession in Manila.

From 1965-1974, he was Senior Executive Vice President of Bancom Development Corporation and President of various subsidiaries.

His Father, Mariano E. Villafuerte Sr., a lawyer was elected Assemblyman at a young age of 25 during the Commonwealth period under President Manuel Quezon, and later elected Governor of the Province of Camarines Sur (1942-1943).

He was the proponent of connecting the city of Manila to Camarines Sur.

This paved the way for the establishment of the Manila Railroad Corporation, which eventually became the PNR – Philippine National Railroad Corporation.