MEDIA groups in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental grieved for the death of Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, who passed away Tuesday morning at the Makati Medical Center. He was 51.

Doctor Anthony Leachon, Remonde’s personal physician, said the official’s death was due to cardiac arrest secondary to myocardial infarction.

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Remonde had also been suffering from diabetes and hypertension, he added.

RPN-TV 8 Bacolod Station Manager Buddy Ferrer said Tuesday that Remonde is a great loss not only for RPN but for the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas (KBP) where he served for so many years. As former Negros Press Club president, he described Remonde as a good co-worker and a friend.

Bacolod Lone District Representative and former National Press Club (NPC) head Monico Puentevella said that having such position in the government and with that workload, Remonde might be very stress.

“This is the price you pay being in the public office. And this is not a place for anybody who wishes to relax,” the congressman explained.

“I deeply sympathized with Secretary Remonde’s family. If he is a great lost to the media industry and in public service, how much more to his family,” he added.

Incumbent NPC president Edgar Cadagat, meantime, extends condolences to Remonde’s family. “He could do much for the protection of the media but maybe his mission ends here,” he said.

Remonde assumed the post as Press Secretary in February last year, after serving as Director General of the Presidential Management Staff. He joined the administration in 2004 and worked in various government-owned media agencies, including NBN 4, RPN 9, IBC 13, Radyo ng Bayan, Bureau of Communication Services, and the Philippine News Agency.

A native of Cebu, Remonde served for a long time as chairman of the KBP.

Herman Bastaño, KBP president, said the organization mourns with deep sorrow the demise of Remonde, who had distinguished himself as the only KBP chair who served for six consecutive terms. His death is not only a big loss to the broadcast industry but to the country, which he has really served with utmost dedication.

“One of his many accomplishments with KBP is to institutionalize the training of its provincial chapter officers. With what he initiated, the KBP now has a good crop of future leaders. The KBP leadership and its members will definitely miss him," Bastaño said.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) headed by Nestor P. Burgos Jr. also condoles with the family, friends and colleagues of the late Remonde. (Jerome S. Galunan Jr./With PNA)