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Tarlac loses political giant with death of peacemaker Yap


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:23:00 03/02/2010

Filed Under: death notices, Politics, People, Obituary

TARLAC CITY?PEACEMAKER and one of Tarlac?s political giants, Rep. Jose ?Aping? Yap, died of prostate cancer on Monday night.

Yap, 81, had been a pillar of Tarlac politics and was a leading advocate of peace when he led the government negotiating panel that reached out to communist leaders during the administrations of Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos.

Yap, who died at 10 p.m. Monday at the Chinese General Hospital in Manila, spent most of his life in politics, starting out in the early 1950s as mayor of his hometown of Victoria when he was 26.

A close friend and party mate of the slain Sen. Benigno ?Ninoy? Aquino Jr. under the Liberal Party, Yap was a staunch critic of the Marcos dictatorship and martial law.

Known as Aquino?s political tactician, Yap led the opposition in Tarlac during martial law.

He was appointed administrator of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System during the Aquino administration.

In 1988, he was elected representative of Tarlac?s second district and served for three terms.

A known close associate of former Tarlac Rep. Jose ?Peping? Cojuangco Jr., Yap, in 1998, surprised his province mates when he coalesced with the political party of businessman Eduardo ?Danding? Cojuangco Jr., Peping?s estranged cousin, and ran for governor against reelectionist Gov. Margarita Cojuangco, Peping?s wife. Yap won and served for three terms.

In 2007, he returned to Congress to represent the province?s second district. His son, Victor, won the gubernatorial race that year against Peping Cojuangco.

Yap, a lawyer, was running for a second term under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD in the May 10 elections when he died. His death took Tarlaqueos by surprise as his illness was not known to many of his province mates.

His remains lie at the Sta. Maria Della Strada Church in Quezon City. He will be given honors in the House of Representatives on Thursday morning before he is taken to the Tarlac provincial capitol in the afternoon.

Yap will be taken to his hometown of Victoria on Friday and will be buried on Sunday in Sitio Lubigan in San Jose town, site of the Monasterio de Tarlac.

Jo Martinez Clemente and Russell Arador, Inquirer Central Luzon


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