Rodolfo Biazon Cause of Death: A Tribute to a Patriot and a Leader

Former Senator and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Rodolfo Biazon, also known as “Pong”, passed away on June 12, 2023, at the age of 88. He died after a battle with pneumonia, which was complicated by his lung cancer diagnosis in July 2022. His son, Muntinlupa Mayor Ruffy Biazon, announced his death on Independence Day, saying that it was fitting for a soldier who dedicated his life and laid it on the line in defending freedom and democracy.

A Life of Service and Sacrifice

Biazon was born on April 14, 1935, in Batac, Ilocos Norte. He came from a humble background, as his father was a doughmaker who died when he was seven years old, and his mother was a clotheswasher. He and his three younger sisters had to peddle food, collect bottles and newspapers, and sell seashells to earn a living. Despite their hardships, he managed to finish his primary education as a salutatorian at Jose Rizal Elementary School in Pasay.

He then pursued his dream of becoming a soldier by entering the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1956. He graduated in 1961 as part of the “Masikap” Class and joined the Philippine Marine Corps. He rose through the ranks and held various positions, such as superintendent of the PMA, commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps, Vice Chief of Staff, and finally Chief of Staff of the AFP. He retired from the military in 1991 after serving for 30 years.

A Career in Politics and Governance

After his retirement from the military, Biazon entered politics and ran for senator in 1992 under the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) party. He won and served until 1995. He ran again in 1998 under the same party and won another term until 2004. He then switched to the Liberal Party (LP) in 2004 and won his third and final term until 2010.

As a senator, he authored and sponsored several bills that aimed to improve the welfare of the military, veterans, and their families. He also advocated for national security, peace and order, human rights, education, health, environment, and local government. Some of his notable laws include the AFP Modernization Act, the Veterans’ Pension Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, the Renewable Energy Act, and the Universal Health Care Act.

He also served as the chairman of various committees in the Senate, such as national defense and security, public order and illegal drugs, civil service and government reorganization, foreign relations, health and demography, environment and natural resources, local government, ethics and privileges, peace unification and reconciliation.

After his stint in the Senate, he ran for representative of Muntinlupa City in 2010 under the LP banner. He won and served until 2016. He did not seek reelection due to health reasons.

A Legacy of Honor and Excellence

Biazon was widely respected and admired for his integrity, professionalism, courage, and leadership. He was a recipient of numerous awards and honors from both the military and civilian sectors. Some of these include the Distinguished Conduct Star Medal (the second highest combat award), the Distinguished Service Star Medal (the highest non-combat award), the Philippine Legion of Honor Medal (the highest award conferred by the President), the Outstanding Achievement Medal (for his role in the EDSA Revolution), the Outstanding Alumnus Award (from FEATI University where he earned his mechanical engineering degree), and the Most Outstanding Senator Award (from various media organizations).

He was also known for his patriotism and nationalism. He was vocal about his views on issues affecting the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He opposed China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea and urged the government to assert its rights under international law. He also supported the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law as a way to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao.

He was also a loving husband to Monserrat Bunoan whom he married in 1961. They had three children: Ruffy (the current mayor of Muntinlupa), Rozzano Rufino (a former congressman), and Rodolfo Jr. (a businessman). He also had several grandchildren who inherited his passion for public service.

A Final Salute to a Hero

Biazon’s death was mourned by many people from different sectors of society. His former colleagues in the Senate expressed their condolences and paid tribute to his contributions to the nation. President Rodrigo Duterte conferred upon him full military honors at his funeral at Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. His family thanked the public for their prayers and support during their time of grief.

Biazon’s life was a testament to his motto: “Duty, Honor, Country”. He lived up to his name, which means “brave” in Ilocano. He was a brave soldier, a brave senator, and a brave Filipino. He will be remembered as a patriot and a leader who served his country with honor and excellence.

Doms Desk

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