Cerge passes awayDec 19th, 2009 | By staff | Category: News
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde died Tuesday following a heart attack. He was 51.
Cerge served in various capacities in President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration from its start in 2001.
“I and my wife Getsy are deeply saddened by Cerge’s passing away, “ Ambassador Rigoberto Tiglao, his former colleague in the Cabinet said. “He was one of my closest friends and comrades in government. Cerge and I went through many crisis-periods in government together, and he always maintained his cheerfulness and equanimity. He is the kind of person who almost always assumed the best in men.”
“We deeply honor Cerge, for serving in the Republic for nearly nine years, and for serving the people most of his working life as a journalist,” Tiglao said. “We will miss him,as a friend and as a comrade, ” he said.
Cerge leaves behind his wife, Mrs. Maret Remonde. His remains will lie in state at the Heritage Memorial Park in Fort Bonifacio, to be moved on Thursday for honors at Malacanang Palace, and then to his hometown in Argao, Cebu.
Cerge Remonde traced his roots to Argao, Cebu where he grew up. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from the University of the Visayas in Cebu City. Later he took up Cooperation and Development Studies at the Afro-Asia Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1986, and also attended an International Visitors Program hosted by the US State Department in Washington, DC in 1992.
From his initial days as a radio reporter and commentator, Cerge carved out a distinguished career in radio, television, and print. He served as anchor of the highly-rated DYLA Interaction, a primetime show that set the benchmark for public affairs programming. He was also the first ever to rise from the ranks of provincial reporters to become the national chairman of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), a position that he held for an unprecedented six terms.
In January 2001, only three days after President Arroyo first took office, Cerge Remonde was appointed Press Undersecretary in charge of broadcast. In 2004, he was named head of the Government Mass Media Group (GMMG), a Cabinet-level position which oversees all the various government owned media entities. He also served concurrently as Lead Convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission.
In October 2006, Cerge Remonde was appointed to head the Presidential Management Staff, and in February 2009, he was named the Press Secretary to the President. Among the many positions he held concurrently, he served as senior adviser to the GRP-NDF Peace Panel, commissioner of the Communications Committee of UNESCO, and chairman of the Advertising Board of the Philippines, the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists, and the Appeals Board of the MTRCB.
Secretary Remonde was awarded many awards and distinctions, among them the Most Outstanding Visayanian in the field of Mass Media in 1998, and, together with former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr, the Most Outstanding Cebuano in 1999.
But as his friends and admirers well know, it was their friendship and high regard that he valued most highly. This esteem was something that in turn was given easily to a man with his admirable qualities—professionalism at work, solicitude for the plight of others, loyalty to his President and to the high ideals of public service, and most of all, devotion to his Church and to his God.
Secretary Cerge Remonde will be sorely missed by his colleagues, his friends, and all who grieve his passing today, even as he will continue to be an inspiration to them and a shining example of a life well-lived in the service of his fellow man.