Canoy’s death brings together former Cagayan de Oro mayors, quarreling politicians

The late mayor will be buried in what his family said will be a private interment in a cemetery in Cagayan de Oro on Friday, July 15.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines-Prominent federalism advocate and former Cagayan de Oro mayor Reuben Canoy gathered with local politicians and two surviving former mayors at city hall to pay tribute to the man who led the city in the early years of Marcos Martial Law.

Politicians joined new Mayor Rolando Uy in paying homage to Canoy, who until his death, remained an influential public intellectual due to his writings and political commentary programs aired by Radio Mindanao Network stations in Visayas and Mindanao.

ASSEMBLY. Former Cagayan de Oro mayor Oscar Moreno and Constantino Jaraula, Representative Rufus Rodriguez, former speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and retired Court of Appeals Justice Romulo Borja at a table at the wake of the late ex-mayor at city hall on Monday night, July 11. (Herbie Gomez/Rappler)

Two former mayors of Cagayan de Oro – Oscar Moreno and Constantino Jaraula – joined Uy and other local politicians at the city hall where Canoy’s creams were brought on Monday night, July 11.

Former speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez came to pay his respects to Canoy. Alvarez, like Canoy, is an ardent advocate of federalism.

Awake at city hall saw separate political allies Moreno and Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez at a table with Uy, Jaraula, and Alvarez.

It was one of the rare occasions to see Moreno and Rodriguez shaking hands in public.

The two politicians began as political allies in 2013 when Moreno first sought the mayoralty of the city. But they severed their ties with politics and became staunch political opponents in 2016 when Rodriguez made an eleventh-hour decision to challenge Moreno’s re-election.

Joining them in Canoy’s condition were their political followers who all spoke well and sympathized with the family of the late mayor.

AWAKE AT CITY HALL. People gather in the quadrangle of the city hall where the ashes of former mayor Reuben Canoy are being carried on Monday, July 11. (Herbie Gomez/Rappler)

“We would not be where we are today if it were not for the vision of ‘Nong Reuben and the mayors who preceded him. He deserves to rest in eternal peace, ”Moreno said.

“We have lost one of Mindanao’s great intellectuals and talented lawyers,” Rodriguez said. “He is a true advocate of federalism, along with both the great sons of Cagayan de Oro and Mindanao.”

Jaraula, who has long been a friend of Canoy, praised the late former mayor who he said remained sharp until his death.

Canoy’s daughter Rhona said her father recently recorded for his radio program Perspective on the day of his death.

“She was okay that day,” Rhona said.

Canoy, who last served on former president Rodrigo Duterte’s Consultative Committee (Concom) to draft a new constitution, was cardiac arrested at a hospital on the night of July 5. He was 93 years old.

The late mayor will be buried in what his family said would be a private affair in a cemetery in Cagayan de Oro on Friday, July 15.

“We have given him to the public for the rest of his life. We wish to have this last moment with him this time, ”said Rhona. – Rappler.com