Former speaker Nicanor
E. Yńiguez, 92
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA
April 15, 2007
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – The grand old man of Southern Leyte politics, former Speaker
of the Batasang Pambansa in 1984, Nicanor Espina Yńiguez, passed away
last Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the Salvacion Oppus Yńiguez Memorial
Provincial Hospital here. He was 92.
Yńiguez died of
pneumonia, according to Carlos Lerias, a grandson.
The late Speaker had
been hospitalized for quite some time, sitting in a wheelchair inside
the provincial hospital, and at one moment he was brought to a Cebu
hospital, where his right leg was amputated for diabetes
"After we (immediate
family members) gathered around and said our (goodbyes), my Tatay took
his last breath. He just went to sleep,” Lerias said.
He was survived by his
two children and their families – Southern Leyte Gov. Rosette Lerias,
her husband Victor and their three children; and US-based son Alfredo
Yńiguez and his three children.
His wife, Salvacion
Oppus Yńiguez, a former Southern Leyte governor and professor at the
University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music, died in September
2005. She was the daughter of the late Rep. Tomas Oppus.
“No Canong,” as he was
called by his friends and supporters, carved a political career
spanning almost three decades, from 1957 to 1986, when President
Ferdinand Marcos, his classmate at the University of the Philippines
College of Law, Class 1939, was ousted by the EDSA I revolt.
Twenty three years
ago, Yńiguez was widely touted as a probable material for the
presidency, being the number two man at that time, had it not been for
the EDSA 1 uprising.
Yńiguez was the
acknowledged father of Southern Leyete, having successfully pushed
through a bill creating the province in 1957, which became Republic
Act No. 2227, signed by then President Carlos Garcia on May 22, 1959.
Southern Leyte was
inaugurated as a province on July 1, 1960, covering 16 towns, with
Maasin as the capital and seat of the provincial government.
Over the years the
number of towns rose to 18, while Maasin, the capital, became a
component city in 2000.