Philippine flags in front of the Negros Occidental Capitol in Bacolod City and at local government units in the fourth district of the province are flying at half-mast for Rep. Charlie Cojuangco (Tarlac, 1st District) who passed away at 6:39 a.m. Tuesday, February 22.
Cojuangco, 58, succumbed to arrhythmia dysautonomia at St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City.
He was mayor of Pontevedra town from 1992 to 1998 and congressman of the fourth district of Negros Occidental from 1998 to 2007.
Cojuangco introduced two innovations on road building that have been adapted nationwide by the Department of Public Works – the rip rapping of waterways on the roadsides and the elevation of roads.
He was also the principal author of the Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park Act and the Solid Waste Management Act.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said “we should remember what he did for Negros Occidental when he was representative of the fourth district…Even when he was already congressman of Tarlac he would still talk about progress for Negros Occidental”.
“We mourn the passing of Congressman Charlie Cojuangco,” Lacson said, adding that the flags will be flying at half-mast because he served as mayor of Pontevedra and congressman of the fourth district.
Mayor Jose Maria Alonso said flags are also flying at half-mast for Cojuangco in Pontevedra.
Pontevedra mourns the passing of Cojuangco and a mass will be held for him on Thursday, he said.
Mayor Nicholas Yulo also ordered that all Philippine flags and Bago flags be flown at half-mast at government buildings in Bago City in honor and remembrance of Cojuangco.
“Cong. Charlie will always be remembered by the people of Bago for all his benevolent contributions in the development of our city through various infrastructure projects, sports activities, among others,” the mayor said.
Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya said Cojuangco’s “legacy as a public servant and philanthropist will surely resonate across generations”.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart to receive news of the demise this morning of a dedicated public servant and close friend.”
Cojuangco’s wife, China Jocson, on her Facebbook page Tuesday, said “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.”
The congressman was driving in a circuit race at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga when he suffered from brain aneurysm on Oct. 26, 2021. He underwent surgery but did not regain consciousness.
The incident happened 16 days after he married Jocson at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Tarlac on Oct. 10, 2021, after a civil wedding in Paniqui, Tarlac, in April 2021.
Cojuangco was previously married to Rio Diaz, a beauty queen, television presenter, actress and vice mayor of Pontevedra town, who succumbed to cancer in 2004.They are survived by their children Claudia and Jaime.
His father was the late Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco, founder of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
He is survived by his mother Soledad “Gretchen” Oppen Cojuangco, brother Marcos “Mark” Cojuangco and sisters Margarita “Tina” Cojuangco Barrera and Luisa “Lisa” Cojuangco-Cruz.*