BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia has issued Executive Order (EO) 78, declaring December 13, 2020 as “Leonito “Diotay” Dacles Lopue Day” in the city.

Leonardia, who signed the EO on December 13, said Leonito “Diotay” Dacles Lopue, who was born on March 23, 1950, came from a humble family whose retail trader, the Lopue’s chain of department stores and supermarkets founded by his parents in August 15, 1945, has become an icon of Bacolod City.

“Immediately after completing his business administration degree at the De La Salle University, Diotay, as he is fondly called, came home to work as general manager of Lopue’s Mercantile Co. for a decade before branching out to Lopue’s San Sebastian where he has been president since 1983. The company grew and branched out to other Lopue’s Value Stores, creating jobs and opportunities for Bacolodnons,” he said.

He added that through hard work, perseverance and good business acumen, Diotay went out to carve a name for himself, not only for his own gain but for the entire Filipino-Chinese and business communities.

Diotay passed away on December 5 in Metro Manila and is mourned by the City of Bacolod, which has been his home and to which he has contributed immensely.

“He has made significant contributions in business, academe, sports, arts and culture that have impacted our lives and community in a meaningful way. Aside from his affiliation in numerous business groups, including as a founding member of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he was also actively involved in various civic, socio-cultural organizations like the Bacolod Sugarlandia Lions Club, Negros Kaisa Foundation, USLS Alumni Association, Handumanan Science Foundation, Bacolaodiat Festival Foundation and the Society of Ang Banwahanon Awardees,” the mayor said.

Leonardia said Diotay has extended service and financial resource contributions to numerous charitable works and missions.

Hundreds of poor, deserving students and families have benefitted from his scholarship programs and through his humanitarian work as past president and active member of Bacolod Sugarlandia Lions Clubs.

He said as one of the founding directors of the Bacolaodiat Festival, he was its longest serving chairman for seven consecutive years starting 2009 and remained as director of the board until his passing.

Diotay is also known as the godfather of table tennis in the province and has always been passionate in giving tennis players the opportunity to see action in high-level competitions. Pursuing his mission to cultivate table tennis from grassroots, he founded the Lopue’s Table Tennis Association that stages the annual Lopue’s MassKara Age Group Table Tennis Competition.

Diotay has been accorded numerous awards and citations befitting a man who has given as much of himself for the welfare of others and the community. In 2008, he was conferred the “Ang Banwahanon Award, the highest award that the Bacolod City bestows on its citizens in recognition of their works and achievements which made a great impact to the community.