Former House Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella of Camarines Sur has passed away. He was 74.

His son, Camarines Sur 4th District Representative Arnie Fuentebella, made the announcement in Facebook post.

“With deep sorrow, we would like to inform our family and friends that Former Speaker Arnulfo ‘Noli’ P. Fuentebella has passed away this morning, September 9, 2020,” the younger Fuentebella said.

Known to his friends as “Noli”, Fuentebella was born in October 29, 1945 in Goa, Camarines Sur to former Representative and Governor Felix A. Fuentebella and Rita Palma. He finished his law studies at the University of the Philippines in 1970 and passing the Bar in 1971.

After passing the bar, the young lawyer pursued a career in law and banking. But President Ferdinand E. Marcos chose him to run for the Interim Batasang Pambansa (IBP) to represent Partido, currently the fourth congressional district of Camarines Sur. He won the elections and served as an assemblyman in the IBP from 1978 to 1984. He lost his bid in the 1984 Regular Batasang Pambansa.  Soon after, he decided to move to New York where he practiced law after being admitted to the State Bar.  When Marcos was deposed by the EDSA People Power Revolution, Fuentebella decided to remain in the USA as he had been identified as an ally of the Marcoses.

After Cory Aquino left office In 1992, he went back to the Philippines and ran to regain his old seat in Congress. He won three consecutive terms (1992–2001).

He became Speaker of the House when then Speaker Manuel Villar, Jr., after passing the Articles of Impeachment against President Joseph Estrada to the Senate, was deposed by Estrada’s allies in the Lowe Chamber.  Fuentebella was elected to immediately replace Villar.

After the second EDSA Revolution deposed Estrada, allies of the newly installed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo deposed Fuentebella and replaced him with then Quezon City Representative Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte.

Fuentebella was Speaker from November 13, 2000 to January 24, 2001.

He represented the third district of Camarines Sur from 1992 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2010, and eventually the fourth district of the same province from 2010 to 2013 and from 2016 to 2019.

He was survived his wife, former Sagñay Mayor Evelyn Fuentebella, and children Patricia Rinah, former Rep. and current Department of Energy Undersecretary Felix William “Wimpy”, current Camarines Sur Rep. Arnulf Bryan “Arnie”, Tigaon, Camarines Sur Mayor Pamela Rinah, current Sagñay Mayor John Vincent and Eugene Adrian.

Cong. Arnie Fuentebella said details about the necrological services for the late Speaker will be announced in the coming days.  Rommel F. Lopez