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Estrada's mother, Doña Mary Ejercito, passes away at 103

January 13, 2009 5:15pm

(Updated 6:03 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines - The mother of former President Joseph Estrada passed away on Tuesday afternoon.

In a telephone interview with GMANews.TV, Estrada’s media officer Ferdie Ramos said Mary Ejercito, 103 years old, died around 4:15 p.m. at the San Juan Medical Center.

Ramos said Doña Mary died of heart seizure and aneurysm in the stomach. He added that the former president was beside his mother’s deathbed.

An official statement released by former president's camp said Doña Mary died of multiple organ failure and noted that her kidneys have already shut down four days before her death.

"According to the physician on-call, Dra. Gina Bagsic, Doña Mary died of multiple organ failure. Her kidneys had shut down four days ago. She had been on a respirator for over a year and had also experienced pneumonia as a consequence of possible infections from the respirator," the statement read.

"The doctors tried to revive Dona Mary earlier this afternoon but she was no longer responding," it added.

In an interview on dzBB radio, Sen. Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada said his grandmother's remains will be brought to the St. John the Baptist Church in San Juan City.

"Maraming maraming salamat po sa mga nagdasal para sa lola ko. Siguro gusto na niya sigurong magpahinga, di niya nakayanan ang kanyang katawan. Nagpapasalamat din kami sa ating Panginoon at binigyan siya ng ganito kahabang buhay," said the younger Estrada - who said he was on his grandmother's side when she passed away.

For her part, the former president's spokesman Margaux Salcedo said Estrada and his siblings were with Doña Mary when she passed away. Also at her side was San Juan City Mayor Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito.

"Nandon naman po ang mga magkakapatid. Nandon din po si Sen. Jinggoy pati po si Mayor Ejercito andon din po (The siblings were there. Sen. Jinggoy and Mayor JV were also there)," said Salcedo.

Last Dec. 12, 2008, Estrada hurriedly left the interfaith rally on Charter change in Makati City even before addressing the crowd, citing his mother's condition.

At that time, Doña Mary had complained of difficulty in breathing. Tests results showed that her blood pressure had gone down. - Johanna Sisante, Sohia Dedace, Aie B. See, GMANews.TV
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