Beng leads tribute to Mayor Vinnie

Mayor Beng Climaco on Thursday led City Government officials and employees in paying last respects to the late Jose Vicente “Vinnie” Atilano II, who served Zamboanga City in various capacities from city council to vice mayor and ultimately as mayor from 1964 to 1980.

In her message during the City Government-sponsored necrological service in City Hall, Climaco described Atilano as a person who exemplified orderliness, cleanliness and above all, integrity, which she said is very relevant in present times.

“One of the best examples that Mayor Atilano has left us is the opportunity to love Zamboanga City.  Being the youngest in the service of leadership he exemplified orderliness, cleanliness and above all integrity, it is very relevant in today’s times. If you heard the SONA of President Duterte, he ordered the cleanup of sidewalks and that is what Mayor Atilano had started during his time,” Climaco said.

She thanked the family for sharing Atilano to the people of Zamboanga that significantly contributed to what Zamboanga City is today.

Various individuals gave eulogies recalling their fond memories with the late mayor. They included Atilano’s niece Sarita Sebastian representing the Rotary East, Jaycee Senate colleague Rene Natividad, family friend James Makasiar, Atilano’s personal friend Atty. Bert Silang, Dr. Mila Fernandez and former Councilor Charlie Mariano.

The members of the City Council presented a Resolution of Condolence to the bereaved family detailing Atilano’s service record, accomplishments and contributions to the city.

Atilano’s son JV III thanked the Mayor Climaco and the City Government for the tribute given in honor of his father as well as the overwhelming outpour of sympathies.

Atilano served the city with zeal in various capacities such as elected councilor from Jan. 1, 1964 to Sept. 7, 1971; by operation of law as vice mayor from Sept. 8, 1971 to Dec. 31, 1971; as elected vice mayor from Jan 1, 1972 to Aug. 10, 1972; by operation of law as acting mayor from Aug 11, 1972 to Aug 30, 1972; as elected vice mayor from Aug. 31, 1972 to June 4, 1978 and succeeded as mayor from June 5, 1978 to Feb. 15, 1980 to finish the term of Mayor Joaquin Enriquez who ran for the position of member of the Batasang Pambansa.

The City Council described Atilano as a “committed public servant who exemplified exceptional performance and acknowledged as one of those who significantly contributed to the growth and development of the city.”

After the necrological service, public viewing and vigil in City Hall, Atilano’s remains were brought back to La Merced Memorial Homes in Gov. Alvarez where he will lie in state until Saturday, Aug. 3.

Interment will be on August 3 with the funeral mass set at 8am at the Tetuan Parish Church. He will be laid to rest at the Atilano clan cemetery at Sta. Cruz, Tetuan, fronting Zambo Tire. (Sheila Covarrubias)