MANILA — Former Senate sergeant-at-arms Jose Balajadia Jr. passed away due to heart failure on Sunday. He was 75.

Balajadia’s son, Jet, confirmed the news to reporters. “Just to provide the correct information, my father passed away at 12:50 a.m. early this morning at the Baguio General Hospital,” he said.

The wake will be held at the St. Peter Chapel, Marcos Highway in Baguio City until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10.

Balajadia’s remains will be airlifted to Villamor Air Base on Thursday morning, July 11 where a military wake will also be held up until his burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The date of the burial has yet to be finalized, his son said.

Balajadia was the upper chamber’s sergeant-at-arms from 2002 until his resignation on June 30.

Senator Grace Poe, reacting on his passing, said that “while our hearts are heavy, they are also filled with gratitude.”

“Thank you for keeping us always safe in the Senate, General Balajadia. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family,” she said.

Senator Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile, hailed Balajadia as an “Igorot warrior” who showed passion and dedication as the longest serving sergeant-at-arms in the history of the Philippine Senate.

“It is now our time to say ‘All rise’ for a man of passion and dedication,” he said.

“Salamat sa iyong paglilingkod sa institusyon, General Balajadia, sa isa sa pinakamapaghamong mga panahon ng Senado, kabilang na ang paghuli kay Sen. de Lima at ang pagtangkang paghuli kay Sen. Trillanes (Thank you for serving the institution, General Balajadia, especially during the trying times at the Senate, which include the arrest of Sen. de Lima and the attempted arrest of Sen. Trillanes),” Pangilinan added. (PNA)

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