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Ex-Senator Ramon Revilla Sr. dies at 93


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Former Senator and film actor Ramon Revilla Sr. has passed away.  He was 93.

The news was confirmed by his son, Senator Bong Revilla.

"Wala na po ang tatay ko, please pray for him," Bong said in an emotional video he posted on Facebook past 5 p.m.

'Heart failure'

Bong said his father died at 5:20 p.m. due to heart failure.

"He is now free from physical pain and is in the loving arms of our Creator. Thank you very much for the love and prayers," he added.

Earlier this month, the older Revilla had his heart examined after being hospitalized for difficulty in breathing. He no longer went through angioplasty after yielding good test results.

After being hooked to a ventilator, his condition eventually stabilized. He even spent Father's Day at home with his family.

A day before he passed away, his son Bong again asked for prayers from the public.

Agimat of the movie industry

Revilla was born on March 8, 1927 in Imus, Cavite as Jose Acuña Bautista. He was a popular ‘50s action star before going into government service as a senior intelligence officer with the rank of major for the Bureau of Customs from 1965 to 1972.

Returning to showbiz in the ‘70s, Revilla made popular the agimat (amulet) of Filipino folklore with his portrayal of fictional and real-life characters such as Nardong Putik (1972) and Pepeng Agimat (1973).

Revilla won the FAMAS Best Actor in 1973 for the movie "Hulihin Si Tiyagong Akyat"; Box Office King in 1979 and the Most Outstanding Actor of the Year that same year; Outstanding Producer of the Year in 1976; and Outstanding Film Production and Socio-civic Leader in 1975.

Father of Public Works Act

He entered the political scene in 1992, winning two terms as senator until 2004. He first tried his luck in the Senate in 1987 as an independent candidate but the Commission on Elections nullified the votes for his screen name.

As a legislator, he was known as the “Father of the Public Works Act” for his authorship of Republic Act (RA) 8150 or the Public Works and Highways Infrastructure Program, which specified the government’s policy on infrastructure development. The program, however, was not fully funded.

Revilla also authored the law amending RA 6425 or the Dangerous Drugs Act, by imposing the penalty of life imprisonment to death on drug traffickers. Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed in 2006 a law abolishing the death penalty.

He also co-sponsored RA 8370 or the Children’s Media Act, which requires television networks to devote at least 15 percent or three hours of their daily total airtime to child-friendly shows.

RA 8294, now known as the “Revilla Law,” amended certain provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1866, lowering the penalties imposed for illegal possession of firearms. The said law has been amended through RA 10591 in 2013.

Patriarch

Revilla is the father of Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr.; Cavite 2nd District Representative Strike Revilla; and Evelyn Bautista-Jaworski, wife of former basketball superstar and ex-Senator Robert Jaworski; among others.

He is also the father of slain actor-model Ramgen Revilla. Ramgen's siblings were considered suspects in the their brother's murder on October 2011.

Ramon Sr. had fathered at least 72 children from 16 different women. 

In 2008, Ramon Sr. survived a stroke and underwent angioplasty although he never fully recovered from the incident. 

On July 11, 2015 he was rushed to the St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig City due to pneumonia and dehydration.

More than a year after, on December 10, Ramon Sr. was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the same hospital.

In June this year, he was confined anew, but was spared a heart procedure after his angiogram showed good results. 

Senators mourn

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Friday extended their condolences to the loved ones of Revilla.

"Don Ramon had a kind and good heart. His love for the masses and his deep concern for the welfare of our underprivileged brothers and sisters was an inspiring light that laid down the parameters of authentic public service," Sotto said in a statement.

Zubiri said Revilla's "real-life work easily overshadowed the heroics of his film roles."

"He was a hero both on and off screen," he said.—LDF/AOL/NB, GMA News

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