More senators mourn loss of ‘kind, fair’ former sergeant-at-arms Balajadia
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto mourned the passing of former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Jose Balajadia Jr., saying senators would always be “indebted” to him for keeping them safe.
Balajadia Jr. succumbed to heart failure early Sunday morning.
“On behalf of the entire Senate, I would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family of Gen. Jose Balajadia Jr. I know that his years of service to the Filipino people will not go unnoticed,” Sotto said in a statement on Monday.
“I can speak for all Senators — that we will always be indebted to Gen. Balajadia for his dedication in keeping us safe. He will greatly be missed,” he added.
Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros also expressed her deepest condolences to the bereaved family and loved ones of Balajadia.
“General Balajadia was the consummate public servant, whose storied career in both the armed forces and civilian government was marked with excellence, honor and passion,” Hontiveros said in a separate statement.
As the longest-serving Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, she said Balajadia has figured in many historic moments of the Senate within the last two decades.
“It was an honor to have worked with such a principled and well-respected officer. I will miss his kind, fair and reassuring presence in the Senate halls,” she said.
Senator Joel Villanueva also joined the Senate family in mourning the loss of the former sergeant at arms.
“He has served his country well, first as a pilot and ranking official of the Philippine Air Force, then as our institution’s sergeant-at-arms,” he said.
“We offer our prayers to General Balajadia’s bereaved family who are mourning the loss of their father. May the general’s life and dedication to service to our country inspire our next generation of leaders,” Villanueva added.
Other senators have earlier expressed their sadness over Balajadia’s demise. (Editor: Julie Espinosa)
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