FORMER National Police chief and Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza passed away on Monday at the age of 67, his son, Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza of Batangas province said.
The lawmaker said his father died at 1:30 a.m. in their ancestral house in Sitio Pag-asa, Barangay Poblacion, San Juan, Batangas.
“Biglaan lang. He was in his rehabilitation when he suffered another stroke,” Rep. Mendoza said.
Mendoza is survived by his wife Soledad and six children, Maria Lea Mendoza-Apita, Michael Mendoza, Maria Leilani Mendoza-Viloria, Mark Llandro Mendoza, Matthew Mendoza and Lean Mendoza.
On March 17, 2012, Mendoza was airlifted to Saint Luke’s Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City after suffering a heart attack while celebrating his birthday at a resort in San Juan, Batangas.
Mendoza, who also served as Philippine National Police chief and executive secretary under then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was among several individuals slapped with criminal charges over the botched $329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with China’s ZTE.
In May last year, a wheelchair-bound Mendoza entered a not guilty plea to the charges at the Sandiganbayan.
Rep. Mendoza said his father’s remains will be brought to the Heritage Park in Taguig City. Details of the internment will be announced by the family later.
PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima said the entire men and women of the police force mourns the passing of Mendoza, who was appointed as the ninth police chief after the downfall of the Estrada administration in 2001.
Mendoza, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of ‘69, will be accorded full honors in accordance with PNP protocols, customs and traditions, said PNP chief information officer Senior Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac.
WITH A REPORT FROM ANTHONY VARGAS