Former Bayan Muna lawmaker Joel Virador dies

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 May) — Former Bayan Muna representative Joel Virador passed away Tuesday morning due to cancer of the thyroid. He was 52.

Harvey Rafael Virador, Joel’s son, announced his father’s death in a Facebook post on Tuesday, May 7.

“The best Tatay in the world. Salamat kaayo sa tanang kaayo nimu tay. Pasayloa ko sa tanan nakong mga sayop. Amping sa imung biyahe tay (Thanks for all your goodness. Forgive me for all my faults. Take care in your journey, Tay). I love you.. Rest In Peace,” he wrote in the post.

The younger Virador said his father expired around 11:20 am at the Brokenshire Hospital in Davao City while combating papillary carcinoma, the most common form of well-differentiated thyroid cancer.

He said his father’s lingering illness was first diagnosed back in 2013. At the time, however, it was not yet “cancerous”, and so was not subjected to a major operation.

Anakpawis Rep.  Ariel Casilao remembered Virador as his friend and a mentor.

“Today, I, we lost a great comrade, friend and mentor. Rest now, we will continue the fight you fought. Di ka malimtan. Magpa bilin ka sa among kasing2 og huna2 ((You’ll not be forgotten. You’ll remain in our hearts and minds). Highest salute to you Ka Joel Virador!” Casilao in a Facebook post said.

Virador, 52,  served as Bayan Muna representative from 2004 to 2007 and also held the position as the party’s executive vice president.

He was the secretary general of Karapatan Southern Mindanao prior to his stint in Congress and also served as regional vice chair for federation affairs of Kilusang Mayo Uno Southern Mindanao.

A native of Kidapawan, North Cotabato, Joel joined the human rights group Task Force Detainees of the Philippines in 1987, and became its regional director for Southern Mindanao in 1994.

Joel is survived with his family which include his wife Imelda, son Harvey Rafael Virador  and daughter Joanna Paula Virador Vasig. (Mart Sambalud/MindaNews)