BALANGA City: Governor Albert “Abet” Garcia at early dawn of Tuesday announced with sadness the death on Monday night after a lingering illness of his father, outgoing Representative Enrique “Tet” Garcia of Bataan’s Second District.
Abet is the eldest of three sons and third to the eldest of five children of Tet and the former Vicky Sandejas.
The others are Anna Mendoza, Dinalupihan town Mayor Gila Garcia, incoming Second District Congressman Jose Enrique “Joet” Garcia and newly-elected Balanga City Mayor Francis Garcia.
Francis replaced Joet as city mayor, who meanwhile took over his father’s post as congressman. Tet won as vice-governor in the May 9 elections.
Tet was congressman for 17 years, serving in the 8th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 16th congress. He was Bataan governor for 12 years.
As congressman, he fought for the retention of the petrochemical complex in Bataan, then pushed for transfer in Batangas. He exposed the evils of the Value Added Tax and the Expanded VAT.
He fought in the Supreme Court, although not a lawyer, against the Oil Deregulation Law and batted for full oil deregulation. He knew what he fought for because he worked with ESSO, a gasoline company, for years before he entered politics.
Tet exposed the alleged massive scam in the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue which he described as the mother of all revenue scams perpetrated by a syndicate of rogues in the banking system.
He asked for the rightful share of Local Government Units in the Internal Revenue Allotment, pegged at 40 percent.
As governor, Tet supported thousands of scholars and built more elementary and high school buildings for public schools so that the province stood out in the country with no recorded lack of classrooms.
Tet was the eldest of 10 children of the late Enrique Garcia, Sr. of Taal, Batangas and Emiliana Tuason of Balanga.
“Tet is a tradpol, a traditional politician. He knows that the power to stop shenanigans, the capability to improve the public service is found abundantly in government. So rather than attack the government to do its job properly, like a true politician, Tet cajoles it instead,” former Makati congressman Teodoro Locsin, Jr. wrote in his foreword to the biography of Garcia titled A Man Called Tet.
Ernie B. Esconde