By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
ILOILO City Mayor Jose Espinosa III expressed sympathy for the death of former councilor and Regional Trial Court Judge Ma. Rita Bascos Sarabia on Dec 26, 2018.
Espinosa broke the sad news at the City Hall on Wednesday.
“Ginakasubo ta gid ang natabo kay Judge Sarabia and we will make arrangements sa pamilya niya to visit her kay she also served as a former councilor here in the city,” Espinosa said.
Sarabia passed away around 9 p.m. on Dec 26 due to complications from the third-degree burns she suffered.
According to his son Rex Sarabia, the lady judge suffered the burns after the liquid petroleum gas (LPG ) tank inside their house exploded a week ago.
In his Facebook post, Rex remembered the legacy of his mother as a fiery champion who fought to deliver justice in the society.
“Rita could be remembered as a fiery champion of the poor who fought for their rights and welfare, she also fought against tyranny and oppression during the Marcos Regime, she fought to deliver justice in our society as a lawyer and a judge, this brave girl from Jaro however fought her last fight. For six agonizing days, she was a warrior to the last second,” he said.
Rex, who is running for city councillor under Espinosa’s slate in May 2019, added that he would carry the legacy of his mother.
“Mom, you were the strongest among us. You always were. I could only hope that I was able to make you proud. Don’t worry mom I will carry your legacy and finish what you started,” he added.
Rita Sarabia served as a city councilor during the time of former mayor Mansueto Malabor.
She finished her two terms from 1998-2001 and 2001-2004 before being appointed as Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge in Quezon City and later in Makati.
In 2011, Rita dismissed the coup charges against Senator Antonio Trillanes.
Meanwhile, Rex expressed his gratitude from the prayers and help that have been extended to their family.
“We would like to thank everyone for their prayers and the help they extended to our family. You may visit her wake at Gegato-Abecia Funeral Services (Coastal Road) Iloilo City. Viewing will start on December 29, 2018 and her burial ceremony would be on January 5, 2019,” he said.