Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Monday paid tribute to his longtime driver who passed away due to the coronavirus disease last week.
The city chief’s last exposure to his driver was on March 10, before the latter was brought to the hospital.
Sotto and his driver’s close contacts have already undergone swab testing to determine if they have contracted the virus.
He added that he is currently asymptomatic but will be in quarantine until March 24. In the meantime, he will work remotely and strictly observe health protocols.
Following the announcement, Sotto shared a tribute dedicated to his late driver whom he fondly called “Kuya Vener.”
Last Saturday, we lost a good friend, Kuya Vener, to covid.
Following DOH protocol, I'll be in quarantine until March 24 (2wks fr when he last drove for me). Will continue working via zoom & phone.
Thank you for your kind messages. Pls pray, especially for his family. pic.twitter.com/6tZKpzTz7d
— Vico Sotto (@VicoSotto) March 15, 2021
“Last Saturday, we lost a good friend, Kuya Vener, to COVID-19. Thank you for your kind messages. Pls. pray, especially for his family,” he began on his Facebook page.
“Napakabait at maaasahan si Kuya Vener. Si ever-smiling… na kahit nga pinapagalitan na ay nakangiti pa rin..” Sotto recalled with a laughing-with-tears emoji.
He then shared that his driver has been with him before he became a city councilor, his previous local government post before becoming Pasig’s mayor.
“Nung hindi pa ako konsehal at nag-iisa pa lang siyang staff ko, kaming dalawa ‘yung laging magkasama. Sinuyod namin ang mga eskenita’t looban ng Pasig nang kaming dalawa lang. Kwentuhan lang habang nasa sasakyan, mula umaga hanggang gabi,” Sotto added.
“Isang mabuting asawa, ama, at kaibigan. Mahal na mahal siya ng mga tao. Mami-miss ka namin, Kuya Vener. Mahal ka namin,” he further said.
Filipinos turned to the comments section to express their heartfelt condolences to the city chief and wished him well as he undergoes quarantine.
Sotto also reminded the public to have an “ECQ” mindset amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
ECQ stands for enhanced community quarantine, the strictest quarantine level of the government. During which, everyone is obliged to stay at home except those reporting in industries deemed essential.
“Mag-voluntary ECQ tayo hangga’t kaya. Pero hindi na natin kayang bumalik sa ECQ talaga. Kawawa ang mga tao, hindi nga magkaka-COVID, mamamatay naman sa gutom. ‘Yung mga nananawagan sa ECQ, sila yung mga nakakain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw kahit ‘di magtrabaho,” the city chief said.
As of Monday, the country has broken last Saturday’s record with 5,404 new COVID-19 cases, now the highest daily tally this year so far.
Last Saturday, the health department reported 5,000 new cases, the highest daily tally that time since August last year.