By Angel Ayala
SORSOGON CITY, 24-April-2013 (BicolToday.com) – Three more weeks before Election day, Congressional candidate in Sorsogon’s 2nd District Jose Solis, 80, died early Tuesday due to complications as a result of heart bypass operation he underwent two years ago.
Solis was a 3-term congressman, but lost in the gubernatorial fight with Raul Lee in 2010 election. This 2013 election, he had been busy for a political comeback for a House seat representing the 2nd district.
A close ally of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Solis had faced an anti-graft case before the Sandiganbayan, and was meted last March a 10-year jail sentence by the anti-graft court for graft and falsification of public documents charges.
The graft issue happened before he joined politics when he was administrator of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.
In that 62-page decision penned by Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz of the Sandiganbayan Third Division, Solis was meted out with six to 10 years imprisonment for the graft case and four to 10 years for falsification of public documents.
Court records showed that the case stemmed from falsification of documents for the sale of a government land when Solis was still the administrator of the National Mapping Resource and Information Authority.
Despite Solis’ conviction, his supporters believed he was a victim of dirty-politics, but they remembered him for his philanthropic work, his generosity in giving assistance for those in need, and his desire and compassion to help his constituents.
He died early Tuesday while confined in the intensive care unit of the Estevez Memorial Hospital.
In a related development, Board Member Vladimir Frivaldo, close ally of Solis, said that there is no substitution for the late candidate since he was running as independent.
With no substitution nor replacement for Solis, Sorsogon political watchers said re-electionist candidate Representative Ding Ramos finds himself without a strong opponent. Ramos’ lone opponent now is former Bulan mayor Guillermo de Castro, a new player in the congressional playing field.
Solis was a native of Bulan, Sorsogon. [BicolToday.com]