Ex-Davao mayor Zaf's burial on March 16

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

THE remains of former Davao City Zafiro "Zaf" Respicio, 66, who succumbed to a heart attack on Monday, will be buried on March 16, in Barangay Saguing, Makilala, North Cotabato.

Respicio suffered a heart attack at 6 a.m. on Monday at his home in Makilala, North Cotabato.

He was rushed to a Kidapawan City hospital where he was declared dead.


Veteran Davao journalist Antonio Ajero, quoted by Inquirer, said Respicio was diagnosed with diabetes and had been undergoing dialysis for end-stage renal failure.

Friends of Respicio shared their good memories with the former mayor through the social networking site Facebook.

Respicio was an opposition leader against Ferdinand Marcos. He was a student activist who was jailed for leading a street protest in the city during his college days at the University of Mindanao.

He was a city councilor when Martial Law was declared in 1972.

He won a seat in the Batasan Pambansa in 1984 and served as a Davao City assemblyman during the Edsa People Power revolt in February 1986.

Former president Corazon Aqunio appointed Respicio as Davao City officer-in-charge in 1986.

Mindanao Times publisher Jesus Dureza said he remembers Zaf as an activist student. Dureza said he was still a reporter then.

"During police dispersal operations he and Milky Perez would hide at my small corner along CM Recto St. There at the editorial office they were safe from arrest. The Times where they sought sanctuary was owned by the late Guillermo "Bering" Torres who was also owner of UM against whom Zaf and Milky were protesting (including of course against the Marcos administration ) so it took some ‘balancing’ on my part to give them help," Dureza wrote in his FB post.

"This was never forgotten by Zaf coz years later when he became OIC mayor under Pres. Cory and got into higher positions in Malacanang, everytime we would meet, he would always remind me of those exciting but turbulent times," he added.

He said he felt sad for the death of Respicio, but said he is "glad he is now with friends up there in the Great Beyond."

Veteran photojournalist Rene Lumawag described the former mayor as "an industrious public servant."

"We crossed rivers and mountains during weekends to see people of far-flung barangays and to check if government projects are properly done," Lumawag said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 12, 2014.

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