Tarlac first district Representative Carlos “Charlie” Oppen Cojuangco has passed away, he was 58.
China Jocson-Cojuangco, the wife of Charlie announced his passing through her Facebook page on February 22.
“It is with a heavy heart that we regret to inform you that my husband, Claudia and Jaime’s father, Carlos ‘Charlie’ Cojuangco, has passed away,” she wrote in her Facebook page.
His remains were laid at The Heritage Park in Taguig February 23 to 25 and was brought to his hometown of Paniqui, Tarlac on February 26.
No details of his death was announced.
In October last year, Cojuangco was rushed to a hospital after suffering from aneurysm in the middle of a race at the Clark International Speedway in Angeles, Pampanga.
The youngest son of Tarlac political and business icon and Nationalist Peoples Coalition [NPC] founder Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. and Soledad “Gretchen” Oppen-Cojuangco, was said to be driving in a circuit race when he suffered aneurysm in his brain and reportedly crashed his race.
Officials Mourn Charlie’s Passing
National and local officials mourned the death of Cojuangco who served as one of the leaders of the 17th and 18th Congresses.
Governor Susan Yap wrote in her social media page, “Congressman Charlie Cojuangco was loved by many in Tarlac. He taught us all the values of strength, kindness and caring for others. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.”
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Tarlac 1st District Representative Hon. Carlos ‘Charlie’ O. Cojuangco. The extra ordinary life of Cong. Charlie was dedicated to better the lives of Tarlaqueños. A devoted and kindhearted public servant and a respected statesman, his legacy will forever be an inspiration and his memories will live in our hearts,” Vice Governor Carlito “Casada” David wrote in his Facebook page.
Tarlac City Mayor Cristy Angeles and the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod cited a quote that “the world has lost an incredible life” with Cojuangco’s death.
“We are sending our sincere condolences. Deepest sympathies, and unending love to the family of Cong. Charlie Cojuangco. At this difficult time, we pray that our Heavenly God will grant you the needed peace and serenity to get through this,” they said.
Mayors of different local government units in Tarlac and Negros Occidental likewise expressed their sympathies to the Cojuangco family.
Cojuangco’s partymates in the NPC former Senators Francis Escudero and JV Ejercito and incumbent Senators Lito Lapid and Sherwin Gatchalian remembered the late congressman as a good friend.
“The province of Sorsogon is together in mourning with the residents of Tarlac and Negros Occidental where he once served,” Escodero said in a statement adding, “I saw him not just a partymate in the NPC but also as a true friend.”
Ejercito posted in his social media account, “RIP Charlie Cojuangco. Will miss your never die attitude in our Vios Cup Races.”
Lapid, remembered Cojuangco as a public servant who helped a lot of people in Tarlac.
“We will bring with us the sweet memories whenever we talk. More than being a partymate in the NPC, I saw Charlie as a friend. Thank you for your service, friend. Goodbye.
Gatchalian, meanwhile said, “I send my heartfelt condolences to the family of Congressman Charlie Cojuangco. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones at this difficult time.”
Senator Sonny Angara condoled with Cojuangco’s family posting, “Condolences to the family, friends and constituents of Tarlac Rep Charlie Cojuangco. We served together in the HoR more than a decade ago.”
House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said the lower chamber mourns the death of Cojuangco saying, “His untimely demise leaves a void in the NPC and the entire House supermajority coalition. We have lost a leader and a friend.”
Malacanang, through Presidential Spokesman Karlo Nograles condoles with the family of Cojuangco.
“We express our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Tarlac first district representative Charlie Cojuangco…we join his loved ones in praying for his eternal repose,” Nograles said.
Before serving as representative of Tarlac, Cojuangco previously served as mayor of Pontevedra town in Negros Occidental and a three-term representative of the fourth district of Negros Occidental.
He is the chairman of the House Committee on Flagship Programs and Projects and the vice chairman of the Committee on Appropriations.
In his stint as Representative, he authored several bills such as the Act Strengthening the National Organic Agriculture Program, the Act of Promoting and Supporting the Development of the Creative Industry, the Act of Providing Additional Mechanisms to Accelerate the Recovery, Bolster the Resiliency of the Philippine Economy, among others.
Cojuangco likewise champions public safety and also authored bills for the establishment and for the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience.
He envisions the first district of Tarlac to become progressive and dynamic in agriculture, education, health, arts, culture and sports science and technology, environment, infrastructure, value formation and spirituality.
His son Jaime substituted for his father as Tarlac first district congressional candidate.