Unopposed Bohol town mayoralty bet dies
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol—The stress of the campaign and the heat may have taken a toll on the health of former mayor Louis Thomas Gonzaga of Danao town, Bohol.
Gonzaga died at the Ramiro Community Hospital (RCH) in Tagbilaran City on Thursday night, two days after he was found unconscious inside his house on Peñaflor street in Tagbilaran City on Tuesday. He was 46.
According to Boy Pernia, a family friend of the Gonzagas, the former mayor may have given in to stress and the extreme heat.
Although he was running unopposed for mayor under the United Nationalist Alliance, Gonzaga, who is the party’s regional deputy coordinator in Bohol, was actively campaigning for UNA standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay.
In 2010, Gonzaga helped Binay score a resounding victory in Danao with 4,618 votes against his then vice presidential rival, Mar Roxas, who got 1,742.
Pernia said Gonzaga attended meetings on Monday.
When he reached home late that night, he told his housemaid to wake him up at around 8 a.m. because he had to attend a political rally in Danao town, at least 92 kilometers from Tagbilaran.
But on Tuesday morning, the housemaid found him unconscious, prompting them to bring him to the RCH in Tagbilaran City.
Gonzaga was supposed attend UNA’s grand rally on Tuesday, said Danao Councilor Lirio Vitor, Gonzaga’s running mate.
He was admitted to the RCH’s intensive care unit where doctors were able to stabilize his condition. He, however, died at 11:51 p.m. on Thursday, four days before the May 9 elections.
“We lost a great leader who had a big vision for Danao,” said Vitor in a phone interview.
Bohol Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado, Gonzaga’s friend and ally, was also saddened by his death.
“I deeply mourn the passing of a friend and brother. Mayor Tom was the epitome of transparent and selfless service not receiving even a cent from his salary and instead gave this amount to the needy. The second district leadership assures the people of Danao of my unwavering support to make your lives a little better,” said Aumentado.
Gonzaga, UNA’s vice chairman in Central Visayas, was Danao mayor from June 2004 to June 2013. He also served as vice mayor to his mother, Natividad Gonzaga, in 2013.
During Gonzaga’s terms, he established the Danao Extreme Adventure Park which put the town on the tourism map.
READ: Adventure at center of Danao’s ecotourism
Danao, a fourth class municipality with 17 barangays (villages), was the headquarters of Francisco Dagohoy’s rebellion.
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