Bocaue, Bulacan Mayor Joni Villanueva passes away

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Bocaue Mayor Eleanor “Joni” Villanueva Tugna, sister of Senator Joel Villanueva, has passed away last Thursday.

PDP LABAN Executive Director Ron Munsayac extended his condolences to the loved ones of the public servant.

“The PDP LABAN offers its condolences, sympathies, and prayers for our beloved partymate Mayor Joni Villanueva Tugna. She has always been one of our exemplar local chief executives as evidenced by her dynamic leadership in Bocaue, Bulacan,” he said in a Twitter post.

“We also enjoin our partymates & friends to pray for strength for the Villanueva family led by DS Bro. Eddie, Sen. Joel Villanueva, and Mayor Joni’s husband Cong. Sherwin Tugna,” he added.

Her brother, Senator Joel Villanueva also posted an uncaptioned black photo on Twitter.

Senator Sonny Angara also sympathized with his fellow lawmaker.

“Bocaue Mayor Joni Villanueva was a very nice person and dedicated mom, wife, and public servant. She will be missed by so many. Rest in peace,” Angara said.

In April, Mayor Villanueva was in the news for buying tons of vegetables from Mt. Province farmers, which she distributed to her constituents as part of the local government’s assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Villanueva hails from a family of politicians, which includes her brother, Joel, a senator and her father, Jesus is Lord founder Eddie Villanueva, a member of the House of Representatives, representing the CIBAC party-list.  Her husband, Sherwin Tugna, was also former party-list representative.

During her first run for the post in 2016, she was proclaimed mayor through a coin toss, a method used by the Commission on Elections to resolve a tie between two candidates.

Dory Villanueva, the mother of the late mayor, also passed away at the age of 73 in March.

Senator Joel Villanueva said his sister Mayor Joni of Bocaue, Bulacan lost her life serving the people despite her medical condition.

“She got this vasculitis this January, compromised po ‘yung immune system niya. Unfortunately, during lockdown she feels she needs to go out and personally check everything,” Villanueva said.

“Infection crept in and cost her life. She literally died because of her passion to serve her people, without fanfare,” he added.

Mayor Joni’s effort to buy tons of vegetables from Mt. Province farmers, which she distributed to her constituents as part of the local government’s assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic, was lauded by many in April.

She succumbed to sepsis secondary to bacterial pneumonia on Thursday, according to the Jesus is Lord Church which was founded by her father CIBAC party-list Representative Eddie Villanueva.

The senator, who recently lost his mother Dory, shared the pain of losing his beloved sister too.

“She’s closest to me among my siblings, she would visit the Senate and would always be in awe [of] how we can serve our country and people,” Villanueva said.

“This is worse than the worst feeling. She left four kids, three years old youngest who asked me last night, ‘What happened to mommy?’ I never thought na posible pa lang kidlatan ng dalawang beses ang isang puso,” he added./Stacy Ang

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