Several Filipinos paid tributes to former Marikina Mayor and former MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando who was confirmed dead at 77 years old on Friday, September 22.
Fernando’s death was confirmed by Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro‘s chief of staff, according to a News5 report.
DZBB Super Radyo reporter Glen Juego also said that Fernando’s wife Marides Carlos-Fernando had confirmed that the government official died at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.
The cause of death is not yet confirmed as of writing. Reports said that Fernando was earlier rushed to the hospital after accidentally falling off a roof.
News of his sudden passing later caused the collective grief of some residents of Marikina City. They took to social media to post their tributes to him.
“Maraming maraming salamat po, ex-Mayor Bayani BF Fernando. Buong buhay namin kayong pasasalamatan sa pagbago at paghubog ng Marikina nating mahal. Isa kang tunay na Marikeño,” Facebook page Marikeño posted.
“You were a legendary mayor of Marikina. The best years we had were during you and your wife’s administration. Thank you for the time you gave to us,” another Facebook user shared.
“Possibly the most significant figure in Marikina’s recent history, his legacy of public service is one I will be grateful for and treasure in my heart for years to come. He once said that his vision for Marikina was ‘not for the upper class but for the working class; not for beggars and drifters but for a working class imbued with dignity,’” another resident expressed on Facebook.
Some Filipinos also remembered Fernando for his services and contributions as the head of MMDA.
“Bayani Fernando was a man with good ideas and the will to see them through ideas that, when he was in power, were maybe 20 years before their time. If he were MMDA chair today now that calls for bike lanes are stronger than ever, what could we have? RIP,” mobility advocate Robert Anthony Siy posted.
“Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of former Mayor and MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando. He is not perfect, but he made projects and policies that were really good and instilled discipline, the way it should be. Namiss ko tuloy yung pink time ng MMDA. Farewell BF!” former senatorial candidate David D’Angelo also posted.
Messages of MMDA, Marikina City
In a Facebook post, the Marikina City government sympathized with Fernando’s loved ones following his death.
In a separate statement, MMDA expressed how deeply saddened and shocked it was by what happened to its former chairman.
The transport agency also paid homage to Fernando’s “scientific and practical approaches in his quest to solve the problems of Metro Manila.”
“A man of few words, Fernando is known to be a workaholic and a disciplinarian among MMDA employees. Under his helm, he put the MMDA in the spotlight,” MMDA said.
“He was the person behind rapid bus lanes and the ‘Metro Gwapo’ campaign transforming the region into a livable metropolis. Thank you very much for your contributions. Rest now, Sir, for you already got the job done,” it added.
Aside from these accomplishments, Fernando also earned a reputation for the pink-colored infrastructures done during his time.
Fernando served as Marikina City’s city chief executive from 1992 to 2001.
He was notable for transforming the former municipality into a highly urbanized city in Metro Manila.
Fernando served as MMDA chairman from June 5, 2002, until November 25, 2009.