CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 7 July) — The Philippine flag flew at half-mast in front of City Hall here starting Wednesday as a “mark of respect” for former mayor and assemblyman Reuben Canoy who passed away Tuesday night.
In a statement, Mayor Rolando “Klarex” Uy extended his sympathies to the family of Canoy and praised the life the late mayor stood for.
“His legacy of fighting for democracy will never be erased or eclipsed and will endure for years to come. I extend my heartfelt sympathies to his family and to all who mourn the passing of a great man,” Uy said.
Canoy died at a local hospital Tuesday night of cardiac arrest while conversing with family members and writing a book, her daughter, Rhona, told reporters. He was 93 years old.
He is survived by four children—Rhona, Chet, Cacoi and Donne. His wife, Solona, died in 2019.
“We the children have given his life to the public long ago because it was his passion. As a father, he exposed us to everything from politics, arts and governance,” Rhona said.
An outpouring of sympathies poured from fellow political leaders and admirers of his radio commentary program, “Perspective”.
House Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez said Canoy was a “true advocate” of federalism and a “true Mindanaon” who advocated the development of the vast potential of Mindanao island for its residents.
“We grieve over the death of Mayor Canoy. We lost one of the great intellectuals and brilliant lawyers of Mindanao,” Rodriguez said.
Former Mayor Oscar Moreno said that as mayor of the city from 1971 to 1976, Canoy laid the foundation of Cagayan de Oro to be the major urban center in Northern Mindanao.
Among Canoy’s projects, Moreno said, was bringing in money to build the Don Gregorio Pelaez Sports center.
Moreno said Canoy also planted the trees in Divisoria to give the residents a breathing space in the parks.
“We thank him sincerely for the new brand of leadership he had introduced, and for being one of our inspiring role models,” Moreno said.
Loyal listeners of his radio program “Perspective” chimed in their sympathies over social media.
“Thank you Sir. I always remember your voice over the radio as I walked to the school in the 80s. It seems all the houses I passed were listening to the program,” Ferdinand Zuasola, Rappler correspondent in Mati, Davao Oriental said.
Nagiel Bañacia, officer in charge of the Lapu-lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in Cebu said he grew up listening to Canoy on his radio program.
“Rest well, idol,” Bañacia said in his post on Facebook.
Canoy’s program “Perspective” was one of the longest running radio commentaries in Mindanao and the Visayas.
His opening spiel, “Ang lungsod nga nasayod maoy makahatag og kusog sa atong demokrasya, apan ang lungsod nga mapasagron maoy makapukan sa atong kagawasan” (An informed society strengthens our democracy but an indifferent society will crush our freedom), is listened to by thousands of followers in Mindanao and the Visayas. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)