CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Fellow members of the "Thursday Club" expressed grief following Third District Board Member Ceferino "Pinong" Laus death on Monday.
Laus, who just came from a family Christmas party Monday night, succumbed to natural causes even as doctors threw all efforts to revive him.
Board Members Johnny "JQ" Quiambao and Nelson Calara of Thursday Club and close friends of Laus were shocked of the sudden demise of their colleague.
"I was even with him that night and spent some time with him. I was surprised when I was informed he had passed away the same night," Quiambao told Sun.Star Pampanga.
"Tang Pinong is not only a friend but my best friend. During times when I have problems I seek his advice and consult him. Kaya nalungkot ako ng i-text sa akin na wala na siya," Quiambao said as tears began welling up in his eyes.
He said that even his child, who was a constant companion of Laus in hearing mass at the mall on some occasions, was aggrieved by the death of the long-time public servant.
"Hindi lang kami nawalan ng matalik na kaibigan. He was more than a friend to us. Hind siya plastic. Nawalan kami ng itinuturing naming magulang. I consult him even with personal and family problems and he would always guide you in the right direction. Kaya I feel such a deep loss," he said.
Calara, for his part said: "Definitely we will miss Board Member Laus. Matagal na siyang naninilbihan sa probinsiya. Alam natin kung paano siya makisama at sa disiplina lalo na sa oras. That's what I'll miss about him. Disiplina sa oras, disiplina sa trabaho. Hindi tatagal ng gaya ni Board Member Laus ang isang politico kung hindi kagaya niya na defined ang trabaho at disiplinado," Calara said, adding they would go on with the Thursday Club sessions as started by Laus.
Thursday Club members would regularly spend Thursday afternoons discussing over coffee or tea the latest issues about politics, ordinances or events in the province at a pizza parlor in a mall here.
"Of course itutuloy namin iyon. It's our way of bonding outside of work and there we can readily develop and communicate our good intentions for the province. Through it, the spirit of Board Member Laus will live," he said.
The Capitol, through the Provincial Board, is set to pay last respects for Laus in necrological services there on Saturday before the final mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral to be officiated by Archbishop Paciano Aniceto.
From there, Laus will be laid to rest at the family mausoleum at the Good Shepherd Memorial Park in this city.