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The people of Bocaue, Bulacan commemorated recently the first death anniversary of former Mayor Joni Villanueva-Tugna with an activity that resembled her big love for her townmates.

More than 30,000 Bocauenos were able to receive “Joni’s relief bucket of love,” buckets filled with rice, canned goods, noodles and coffee distributed to 19 barangays. The act was initiated by Mayor Joni’s husband and former CIBAC Party List Representative Sherwin Tugna, in partnership with Vice Mayor Alvin Cotaco and several members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Bocaue.

The two-day activity reminded Mayor Joni’s brother Senator Joel Villanueva, who described as a fine public servant who served Bocaueños during the start of the lockdown last year despite her medical condition, which eventually cost her her life. A bucket represented one that Mayor Joni used to place relief goods, over 45,000 of them, that were distributed by the local government last year during the strict lockdown.

To her father CIBAC Party List Representative and Deputy Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva and her husband, Mayor Joni is more than a public servant, a role model who declared “Bocauenos deserve nothing but the best.”

Villanueva-Tugna was the first local chief executive who helped the farmers of Benguet amid the coronavirus pandemic where she purchased tons of vegetables to distribute to her constituents even if she was already critically ill that time.

She even took the time to personally re-pack the vegetables wherein she admitted in an interview that she had been ill with an autoimmune disease that attacked most of her vital organs. 

The mayor, also known as “The Toss Coin Mayor,” was confined at the St. Luke’s Hospital in Taguig City for a few weeks when she finally succumbed to sepsis secondary to bacterial pneumonia on May 28, 2020. She was 42 years old.

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