GORDON HONORS THE LATE SENATE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS JOSE BALAJADIA IN A RESOLUTION
Senator Richard J. Gordon on Wednesday stood before his colleagues to sponsor a resolution honouring the late retired Major General Jose Balajadia, who served five Senate presidents as Senate Sergeat-at-Arms. Balajadia succumbed to prostate cancer last July 7 at the age of 75.
"Gen. Balajadia or Badjao, as we called him, served his country well. He was instrumental in keeping the integrity discipline and security of the Senate during crucial political events involving the Senate. When he joined the Senate, Joe Balajadia, who was born in Baguio, represented all the things that are good about his ethnic background - a gentleman, a man of his word, a very approachable individual, caring for his people at all times, caring for us, the senators, during the time that he was in the Senate. I had the great pleasure and comfort of knowing he was watching my back, especially in the Blue Ribbon Committee where we had very strong hearings involving criminals," Gordon said.
Gordon filed Senate Resolution No. 23 to honor Balajadia, one of the longest serving employees of the Senate, for his great service, achievements and contributions to the Senate and to the Filipino people as a soldier and civil servant par excellence who served as the Senate Sergeant-of-Arms for 17 years from 2002-2019. All the senators asked to be made co-author of the resolution.
Prior to his appointment as Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, Balajadia retired from the Philippine Air Force as a major general who rose from the ranks as a second lieutenant (reserved) and gave 38 years of decorated service. He performed key roles during his military career, including being a team leader of the Philippine Air Force's highly-esteemed Blue Diamonds Acrobatic Group.
Balajadia was a bemedaled and decorated military officer, having received numerous awards such as the Silver Wing Medal, the Distinguished Service Star, the Gawad the Kaunlaran, the Bronze Cross Medal, and the Military Merit Medal, among others.
For their part, amid their time of mourning, Balajadia's family was very grateful and honoured by the recognition. "We are thankful to Sen. Gordon for this tribute to my father. It is really an honor for us to know that our father was well-loved, well-respected and will always be remembered," his son Jonathan said.
"Amidst all his capabilities, accomplishments, professionalism and humanitarian feats, Gen. Balajadia was first and foremost a true Christian. He made no complaints even when he was already ailing with prostate cancer, he still stood erect. He was a soldier, a professional in his duties all the time, whether civilian or military, a great family man and a great compassionate, caring and humanitarian individual. Thank you, Sergeant-at-Arms Jose Balajadia, major general of the Philippine Air Force. His medals were not enough to honor him, even this speech, we will always remember him," Gordon said.