Edelmiro Amante Sr. passes away at 79

CABADBARAN CITY (MindaNews/11  March) – Agusan del Norte’s political kingpin is dead.

Edelmiro Amante, Sr, who represented his district in Congress for several decades and held the post of Executive Secretary for a few months under the Ramos administration, passed away at 1:30  p.m. on Sunday in his residence here.

The 79-year old Amante was diagnosed with liver cancer about three months ago, said Agusan del Norte Board Member Rey G. Jamboy.

Amante’s son, Erlpe John, the incumbent Agusan del Norte Governor, told MindaNews he was thankful his father died a painless death.

“He died peacefully. We are thankful that he did not undergo an agonizing death since we know most liver cancer patients undergo a painful ordeal. He had deteriorated and got really sick the past three to four months but we did hope he would recover,”  Amante said.

“He even went to the cock fighting arena, since it was one of his favorite pastimes. Sometimes he wanted to talk and discuss certain details but I declined and discouraged him because I wanted to believe within me that he could still get better,” he said.

Amante explained that his father lived a very fruitful and meaningful life with his work, family and with the people.

“He lived a fulfilling life and he was happy with how it all turned out. The doctors back in Manila advised him to stay there so that they would be able to monitor him properly but my father declined since he wanted to be here at home and closer to his family and with the people,” he added.

The governor thanked his sister,  Rep. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba for personally taking caring of their father the past few months..  Angelica Rosedell, who served as governor for three terms and is running again for governor this year, is a nurse.

Governor Amante said they are just waiting for their brother to arrive from the United States..

He said interment is scheduled for March 17 although this may change depending on their brother’s arrival.

Edelmiro A. Amante, Sr. started his career in barangay Ampayon, Butuan City back in 1959 as a barrio lieutenant then a councilor from 1960 to 1964.

He served as delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention and was Assemblyman of the Batasang Pambansa from 1978 to 1984.

He was elected four times to the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Agusan del Norte  after democracy was restored in 1986.

He also served as Executive Secretary to former president Ramos from September 14, 1992 to Juen 30, 1993 and was Presidential consultant for Mindanao flagship projects from 1997 to 1998.

The patriarch of the political clan that ruled  the province since the 1960s, was born on April 21, 1933 in Butuan City. He later moved his residence to  Cabadbaran town.

The Amante clan is touted as the nemesis of the Plaza clan which has dominated the political landscape of neighboring Agusan del Sur.

Amante finished his Bachelor of Arts in 1954 and Bachelor of Laws in 1958 at the Silliman University in Dumaguete City

He was author of several national bills including “The Act Providing for Synchronized Barangay and National Elections..”, “An act imposing higher registration fees for vehicle owners who own two or more vehicles, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 8794 entitled “An Act imposing a motor vehicle users charge on owners of all types of motor vehicles and for other purposes.”

The patriarch’s wife, Rosario “Sayong” Malbas, served as mayor of Cabadbaran for three terms. She passed away on October 19, 2008.

survived by his children Rep. Amante-Matba, Gov. Erlpe John, Leah Amante Mendoza and another son who is based in the United States.

His wife, former 3-termer Cabadbaran mayor Rosario “Sayong” Malvas, is already deceased on October 19, 2008.  (Erwin Mascarinas with  a report from Vanessa L. Almeda)