MANILA – Malacañang offered deep condolences to the family, colleagues, and friends of former Senator Heherson “Sonny” Alvarez who succumbed to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Monday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque offered prayers to the late senator who died three weeks after he reportedly contracted Covid-19.

His wife, Philippine Educational Theater Association founder Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, also tested positive for the virus but her condition has already improved.

“We pray that the perpetual light will shine upon Senator Sonny, and that his soul, through the mercy of the Almighty, may rest in eternal peace,” Roque said.

Earlier this month, Alvarez’s children asked for prayers after announcing that their parents were tested positive for the virus.

In a Facebook post last April 6, Alvarez’s son, Hexilon, said his father had been moved to Intensive Care Unit-Covid-19 wing for close monitoring.

He said his father remained in critical condition, though his X-ray results showed “some slight improvement.”

His mother, on the other hand, has been extubated and was “already breathing comfortably.”

Roque described Alvarez as having a “distinguished record” as a public servant.

“He served the government for over 40 years as a constitutional delegate, freedom fighter, legislator, and former Cabinet member,” he said.

Alvarez served in the Senate from 1987 to 1998. He focused on environmental legislation and was also chairman of the Senate committee on environment for 10 years.

He also became a congressman representing the fourth district of his home province, Isabela, from 1998 to 2001.

Among the laws he pushed in Congress were The Clean Air Act of 1999, National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act, Solid Waste Management Act, Northern Sierra Madre Protected Area Act, Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan.

Prior to joining the Senate, Alvarez was appointed by the late President Cory Aquino as Department of Agrarian (DAR) Secretary from 1986 to 1987 after the fall of the dictatorship of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

After former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada was impeached in January 2001, Alvarez was also appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary.

He was the principal complainant in the impeachment case filed against Estrada in the lower House in 2000.

Besides being an environmental advocate, Alvarez was one of the youngest delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention and one of the leaders of the anti-Marcos movement after martial law.

He was survived by his wife and two children. (PNA)

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