Former Las Piñas City Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar (1947-2021)

Last week, August 20, 2021 became a sorrowful day as former Las Piñas City Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar passed away which the City Government of Las Piñas confirmed. He was 74-years-old and left a legacy of public service having served as the head of the local government unit (LGU) for a grand total of eighteen years (1995-2004 and 2007-2016). His wife Imelda is the incumbent Mayor and their daughter April Aguilar-Nery is the incumbent Vice Mayor.

From the City Government.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the official statement issued by Mayor Imelda Aguilar which the City Government released on August 20…

It is with profound sorrow that our family announces the passing of my husband and our patriarch, former Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar.

At the age of 74, Nene joined our beloved Creator today, August 20, 2021, at 4:12 am, succumbing to a heart ailment after being confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City.

Nene, it pains all of us that you are no longer with us, but we know that you have accomplished your mission in this world, not only to your family and loved ones, but to the hundreds of families you have served and supported throughout your years in service.

As the current Mayor of Las Piñas, the legacy and selfless public service you have rendered as mayor for 18 years to the people of Las Piñas will serve as my inspiration. Your years as the local chief executive have led to the unprecedented growth of our city. We will miss you very much.

We invite our loved ones, friends, and all of the people of Las Piñas to remember him and celebrate his life and the love and joy he has imparted to all of us.

For the newcomers reading this, former Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar led the LGU for almost twenty years. According to local history, he first became mayor at a time when Las Piñas was still a municipality. Las Piñas formally became a city on March 26, 1997 and that was within Aguilar’s first term. Under his leadership, socio-economic development followed and the new city got recognized. There is no denying that Las Piñas became progressive and continues to progress and has emerged as one of the most notable cities of South Metro Manila.

A look back at a few of the many achievements of the city under Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar.

In an article published by Philippine News Agency (PNA), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar paid tribute to former Mayor Aguilar and expressed his sorrow. Posted below is an excerpt…

In a press statement, Andanar said it pains him to lose Aguilar who had been a father figure to him.

“It’s with great sorrow, sadness, and pain that I grieve the loss of a father figure like former Las Piñas Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar who passed away today, August 20, 2021, due to a heart ailment,” said Andanar.

Aguilar’s passing was announced by his wife, incumbent Mayor Imelda Aguilar, through a statement posted on the official Facebook page of City of Las Piñas.

Aguilar, 74, passed away on Friday morning at St. Luke’s Medical Center at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

Andanar remembered Aguilar, whom he fondly called “Papa Nene,” for the latter’s “unselfish public service, commitment, and dedication to lead and generate great changes” in Las Piñas City.

He also hailed Aguilar for giving “unparalleled” progress to Las Piñas City and its people.

“You have touched the lives of so many people, but your silent demeanor was a gushing river of wisdom and affection that brought happiness and, most of all, love to our small family,” Andanar said. “Papa Nene, you may have left us in this world and have joined our Creator, but the memories and teachings you have shared with us all will be remembered perpetually.”

He left behind four daughters — Las Piñas Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery, Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo, Alelee Aguilar-Andanar, and Anne Aguilar.

He was also Senator Cynthia Villar’s brother.

He was a property developer before entering public service in 1992. He then served as mayor of Las Piñas City for six terms, first from 1995 to 2004, and from 2007 to 2016.

His father Dr. Filemon Aguilar, was also a former Las Piñas mayor.

During his term, Las Piñas was recognized as one of the best-managed cities in the country, according to the city’s official website.

National and international awards, including the United Nations Award for Environmental Protection, were handed out to the city under his term.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a long-time Las Piñas City resident who lived when former Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar led the City Government, what is the best thing you remember about him with regards to public service?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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