Nueva Vizcaya’s first ‘Bugkalot’ mayor dies

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Alfonso Castaneda, Nueva Vizcaya Mayor Jerry Pelayo Pasigian. Photo from Viva NV FB post
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ALFONSO CASTAÑEDA, Nueva Vizcaya, June 6 (PIA)—Alfonso Castañeda Mayor Jerry Pelayo Pasigian succumbed to hypertension on Monday, June 3.

Pasigian, 46, was the first Bugkalot tribe member who rose from a community leader to become mayor of Alfonso Castaneda, fell comatose last week due to high blood pressure and was confined at the Salubris Medical Center in Solano town.

News on his demise was greeted with heavy hearts from his constituents, friends, supporters, political allies and brothers from a fraternal organization, among others.

“I grieve with my family the passage of Mayor and Brother Jerry Pasigian to the other shore. He was a great leader and brother. He will never be forgotten,” said Vice Governor Lambert Galima Jr. on his Facebook account.

Galima said the last time he and Pasigian talked was the night of May 13, election day.

“When I asked for the results of the election in Alfonso Castañeda, his voice was sad when he said he won the election. I don’t know why he was sad when he should be happy. This could be a premonition that, while he won, he could not serve his term anymore. Goodbye brother Jerry. You will be sorely missed,” Galima added.

He started his leadership during the proposed Casecnan Multi-Purpose Irrigation and Power Project in Alfonso Castaneda town in the 1990s, and paused with pride after winning the recent polls for his second term anew.

Pasigian was an active tribal leader during the government’s proposed CMIPP in their town, asserting and advocating their tribal rights and welfare.

His sustained campaign for the delivery of various social claims and benefits for the Bugkalots, being the protectors of the CMIPP’s watershed, resulted in the implementation of various development projects in Alfonso Castaneda, the farthest town in Nueva Vizcaya.

Before his demise, Pasigian continued the local government’s legal fight to claim the unpaid benefits of CMIPP operators to the municipality.

Pasigian even vowed not to cut his beard in protest to the non-payment of the Real Property Tax by the CMIPP operator to their municipality.

Alfonso Castaneda is touted as the richest town in Nueva Vizcaya because of the yearly RPT payments from the CMIPP operator, amounting to millions.

Pasigian was a member of the Kabalikat Civisom Association Novo Chapter and a past master of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines–Villaverde Lodge. (MDCT/BME/PIA 2-Nueva Vizcaya)

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