MANILA, Philippines — Hours after the shocking death of Lolong – the world’s largest captive crocodile, various sectors have called on his son, Nonong to take his father’s place and continue the fight started by his parents. But according to his spokesperson Alligale Valte, rumors of him running in the 2016 polls that spread on Twitter last night were “premature”.
The reptile, known as Lolong, passed away at 8.05 pm, according to Bunawan mayor Edwin Elorde.
A municipal official told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that Lolong was found dead inside his pen by Dr. Alexander Collantes, a veterinarian at Davao Crocodile Park.
The reptile had not been eating his usual meal late last month, and its left stomach “ballooned” but the cause of death has not yet been determined. (from Rappler)
Nonong, in a press conference held at Club Filipino in San Juan, was quick to extinguish expectations that he would accept the public’s clamor right away, announcing that he will be going on a “spiritual retreat” over the weekend to finalize his decision.
“Hindi po madali ang misyong ito dahil matindi ang kabulukang bumabalot sa ating lipunan. Pero hindi po imposible (This mission will not be easy because of the extreme corruption that surrounds our society).”
He added, “This weekend, I will seek the Lord’s guidance and not that of agimats. As I pray for discernment and divine guidance, I urge you to pray with me so that you too can assess your own readiness to take part in the difficult struggle ahead. We are in this together.”
“Hindi ako aatras sa hamong ito (I won’t back down from this challenge).”
This comes a surprise for his best friend Roar Roxas, who announced minutes after Lolong’s death that he was giving up his ambition in 2016’s elections, and would instead throw his support behind Nonong.
“I understand his decision and would stand by him through his ordeal,” said Roxas. “I want to make a difference and somebody has to make a sacrifice.”
Just last week, Roxas was announced as LP’s standard bearer by their campaign manager and vice chair Porklin Drilon.
Krocs Aquino, Nonong’s outspoken sister expressed anxiety on her brother’s decision, but says that she and her sisters are all behind him.
Lolong’s nephew, Babam on the other hand, who bears a more striking resemblance to his uncle as compared to Nonong, has announced that he is running for senator in 2016.
Babam in a separate interview said that he wanted to give the youth a voice in the Senate.
Meanwhile, police are still investigating the cause of death but has already ruled out foul play. A Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman explained that there were no bullets found on the crime scene and continue to reiterate that crime rate went down 60% as compared to last year.
“Initial findings points to natural causes due to the bloated stomach evident on the victim,” said PNP Spokesman Alligero Cruz. “Checkpoints are visible all around Bunawan and we are sure that no weapon was used in the death of Lolong.”