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Filcom leader killed with elderly ward in bus accident

16 June 2017

Villaruel speaking at a rally (photo from Eman Villanueva)
By The SUN Team
An outspoken and popular leader of the Filipino community in Hong Kong was killed along with the elderly mother of his employer yesterday, June 16, after being knocked down by a tour bus in To Kwa Wan.
Rodolfo B. Villaruel, 58, was reportedly crossing Ma Tau Kok Road along with the 85-year-old woman at about 10am when they were hit by the bus which was carrying a group of mainland tourists.
Before this, the bus had reportedly collided with a double-decker near the junction of Ma Tau Kok Road and Pak Tai Street.
Police said the pair was trapped under the bus and had to be freed by firefighters. Other reports say the victims were dragged for about 10 meters before the bus stopped.
The woman was pronounced dead on the spot while Villaruel was declared dead at Kwong Wah Hospital.
According to Danny Baldon, officer of the Consulate's assistance to nationals section, Villaruel had worked for his employer for 13 years and had just renewed his contract this year. He was married with a daughter, and hailed from Manapla, Negros Occidental.
His daughter is reportedly set to arrive in Hong Kong on Sunday, June 18, to attend to the repatriation of Villaruel’s remains.
Baldon said Villaruel had just called up his family earlier that morning so his death came as a shock to them. His employer was the one who relayed the grim news to them.
Villaruel had apparently just taken the elderly woman to her usual yum cha appointment when the accident happened.
Filmcass HK's Facebook tribute to Villaruel
His death was immediately greeted with dismay by United Filipinos – Migrante Hong Kong, which said Villaruel – or Kuya Rudy to them- was active in the No FEE Coalition among community leaders.
"Si Kuya Rudy ay lider ng KISS at lider ng iba pang asosasyon at aktibo sa ating NO FEE Coalition para labanan ang mga dagdag na bayarin at singilin na ipinapataw ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas sa ating mga OFW", Unifil-Migrante said in a tribute to Villaruel on Facebook.
According to Unifil secretary-general Eman Villanueva, the deceased was a frequent speaker on such issues as the plan to tax balikbayan boxes, terminal fee and OEC.
“Nakakalungkot talaga, kausap ko pa siya mga 2-3 weeks ago, tapos ganyan na,” Villanueva said.
Villaruel was reportedly the leader of Kiss HK Association, which started out as a dance group. But when they affiliated with Migrante, the group set up a Kiss Migrante Chapter.
But it was as a dancer and performer that Villaruel was rememberd by another group, Filmcass HK, a support group for cancer victims.
In a post on Facebook,  the group remembered “Sir Rudy” as one of its mission supporters and a regular entertainer in its annual “Concert for Cancer Society”.
The post was accompanied by photos of Villaruel dancing and another with his elderly ward, with whom he reportedly got along very well.



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