Sun.Star Cebu

Tingting de la Serna, Cebu’s pro-poor gov, succumbs to lung cancer

- /VLA OF SUNSTAR PHILIPPINE­S, RVC

Cebu lost a genuine pro-poor public servant.

Former Cebu governor Vicente “Tingting” de la Serna passed away at 12:10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, due to lung cancer. He was 66.

De la Serna served the province from 1992 to 1995 as governor.

Known for his close affinity to the poor and the marginaliz­ed, Dela Serna was considered the father of the “93-1” land swap deal between the Provincial Government and Cebu City Government.

Prior to his stint in public service, Dela Serna was an activist and fought against the Marcos dictatorsh­ip.

He was appointed OIC mayor of Mandaue City right after the Edsa Revolution.

He became congressma­n of the 6th District of Cebu from 1988 to 1992, then ran for governor and defeated Annette Osmeña, the wife of former Cebu governor Emilio Osmeña.

Edward Ligas, a family friend, said de la Serna’s remains will be cremated today.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, in a statement, expressed his deepest condolence­s to de la Serna’s family.

“He was my friend. He will be remembered as an honest and compassion­ate leader whose genuine concern for the people, especially the poor, we should all emulate,” Davide said.

Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella remembers de la Serna as a genuine, pro-poor public servant who was the key in providing thousands of city residents their own lots under the 93-1 resolution.

“I consider him as the real hero of 93-1. He was the one who started it all in allowing our informal settlers to have a security of tenure, to have a roof over their head when he approved the resolution. He should be given due acknowledg­ement for that,” he said.

Although Rep. Benhur Salimbagon (Cebu fourth district) authored the resolution, it wouldn’t have been realized without the initiative and approval of de la Serna, Labella said.

The 93-1 resolution allowed some 5,000 city residents to own the lots they’re occupying, which was owned by the Provincial Government, by entering into an agreement with the Cebu City Government.

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