The Department of Education (DepEd) was shocked on the news of the untimely death of one of the education key officials in a freak vehicular accident that had occured sometime in the morning of August 29 in Pililla, Rizal.
What a great loss to the agency for losing a principled man so dedicated to his job, making things done in the virtue of honesty .
Mr. Varela is well-loved by his education colleagues as a leader, as a catalyst for reforms in education, "judicious spender" in education, advocate of anti-corruption, compassion on learner's plight, and a great exemplar of hardwork and honesty.
Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff Rey Laguda and Asst. Sec. for Planning and Development, Jesus Lorenzo R. Mateo have recalled their memorable moments with Usec Francis Valera while working together respectively.
|Varela with Laguda|
In his personal FB account, ASEC Rey Laguda expressed the gross loss of a colleague in the DepEd the following day of Mr. Varela's accident.
"I am deeply saddened by your passing. It is surreal. I half expect to see you on Monday at the office. But I know I never will.
"DepEd lost a great man today. Our country lost a patriot. I lost a colleague, a leader, a mentor, a friend.
"I offer my sincerest condolences to the family of Francis. Allow me (and many others) to share in your pain and anguish in the hope that we may somehow lighten your burden."
|Varela with Sec. Luistro and ASec Laguda visiting schools in mountain remote area|
"You lived life with so much passion. You infected me enough to dive underwater, climb Bongao peak, and more importantly, to stand against the headwind for the sake of the Filipino learner. You pushed us to our limits so that we can discover the truth and bring out in us a facet we never thought we had. Thank you Francis."
Man of Principle, Honest, Compassionate
Education Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo has this to say too about Usec Varela:
Mr. Varela is "very instrumental in forging ahead education reforms particularly in ensuring that every cent in the education budget is spent judiciously."
"He was a staunch advocate of anti-corruption efforts in the Department and played a very important role in instituting reforms to ensure that ethical standards are observed in all transactions involving the agency,"
He is "highly principled man" with "a sharp mind, a willingness to make tough decisions, and...compassion for the Filipino learner."
In his 5 years stint as undersecretary of education for Finance, Mr. Varela is an instrumental in preparing the K to 12 program for full implementation.
At 47, Varela died in an accident in Pililla, Rizal.
We in the DepEd do express of condolences to Sir Varela's bereaved family. May his soul eternally rest in peace.
Images Credits: Asec R. Laguda