Palangdan, public servant dies at 65
Benguet is mourning the passing of former Itogon mayor Victorio Tongalog Palangdan who died peacefully in his sleep on Feb. 9. He was 65.
Palangdan, fondly called Vic, served as a mayor of Itogon consecutively for three terms since 2013.
In a statement, the family said Palangdan’s passing shocked everyone, as the doctor stated he died from cardiac arrest.
“We are still at loss but we are trying to cope. We would like to extend our profound gratitude to all the supporters, friends, and relatives who showed him love in all his endeavors even until his darkest hours, and even until his passing. Thank you for your prayers and messages,” the family stated.
“For now, allow us to grieve our loss as we find comfort in the word of God and company of family and friends,” the family said.
Upon passing the Bar exam in 1986, he worked for a year at a private law firm then became a prosecutor at the Benguet Prosecutor’s Office where he served for 23 years before venturing into politics.
Palangdan was the first Kankana-ey to be elected mayor of Itogon as the son of Domas Aslong Palangdan of Sinakbat and Gambang, Bakun, Benguet and Belen Tongalog Palangdan of Suyoc, Mankayan, Benguet and Guinsadan, Bauko, Mountain Province.
His family said his “service and dedication extended towards all regardless of ethnicity or creed.”
While a fiscal, he was elected director of Benguet Electric Cooperative for three consecutive terms from 2000 to 2010 and served as BOD president for two terms.
During his term as board president, Beneco had energized 100 percent barangays in the province.
Upon sitting as mayor of Itogon in 2013, he vowed to pursue organic and safe agricultural practices in the municipality.
He said although Itogon is known as the land of gold, he would like the town to also be known as a producer of green gold (green representing vegetables), perhaps owing to him being a farm management technologist in Benguet back in 1981 to 1987.
In his last term as a mayor, he became the president of the Mayor’s League of Benguet. During his time as the mayor, Itogon was awarded the Seal of Child-friendly Governance in 2018, National Organic Achiever’s Award in 2017, and Seal of Good Local Governance in 2017 and 2016.
Through his leadership, the municipality also received excellent rating on implementation of the Anti-Red Tape Act by the Civil Service Commission and excellent rating based on the Public Financial Management tool of the Department of Budget and Management.
Palangdan ran as a congressman in the 2022 elections under the Independent Benguet slate.
The family said their patriarch was set to be buried on Feb. 13 at his old house in Sibal, Tuding five days from his death like his father and grandfather.
But due to the clamor from the public to allow time to pay their last respects, the family agreed to reset the burial to Feb. 15.
The requiem mass at the municipal hall will be on Feb. 13 at 8 a.m.
“Maliwliwa kami iti apan yu panakipagrikna ken panangipaay iti karkararag para kenyana. We are truly grateful for the kindness and love that you have shown to him, especially in his endeavors as a public servant,” the family stated.
Palangdan is survived by his wife, Jofelia and four children Loikan Jay, Goku Ann, Victorio “Tayubo” Jr., and Jayvee. – Ofelia C. Empian