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Ex-Speaker Fuentebella passes away at 75

FORMER House Speaker Arnulfo Palma Fuentebella, 75, passed away Wednesday (Sept. 9) morning due to heart failure after battling a kidney disease for almost two years, his son Rep. Arnie Fuentebella said.

“With deep sorrow, we would like to inform our family and friends that Former Speaker Arnulfo “Noli” P. Fuentebella has passed away this morning, September 9, 2020,” he said in a Facebook (FB) post.

In a separate post by Sagñay Mayor Jovi B. Fuentebella, he described his father as the longest serving representative of Partido District, who was instrumental in creating the second longest national road network in the entire Bikol region;

He also attributed to his father’s accomplishment the: 100 percent electrification of all 299 Barangays in the district; establishment of the Partido Development Administration, Partido State University, Philippines Science High School, Partido Water Supply System, and a lot of public schools, infrastructures and housing projects.

The former House speaker, who is fondly called “Noli” by constituents, supporters, allies and friends, was one of the authors of a legislative proposal dividing the province of Camarines Sur into two with the new one to be called “ Nueva Camarines,” The proposal did not prosper due to time constraint and oppositions from his political rival, Gov. LRay Villafuerte.

The late congressman became the first Bikolano speaker of the House of Representatives although only for two months, from November 2000 to January 2001.

In his book “ Embracing Destiny,” Fuentebella worte that “the political power of their family stems from the influence they have among the people, where true power resides. Over the years they were able to generate much respect and develop goodwill that serve as their currency in politics”.

Political rivals have criticized the Fuentebellas for being in power for more than a century.

Wimpy Fuentebella, also a former congressman of Partido Area and currently an Energy undersecretary, has refuted critics saying that although their family is more than 100 years in public service, it is a legacy, not in power nor a political dynasty.

The family will announce the details of the necrological services in the following days.

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