FORMER SENATE sergeant-at-arms Major General Jose V. Balajadia, Jr. passed away early Sunday morning, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III confirmed. “Passed away at 2:15 am this morning. He was suffering from a number of ailments lately. Prostate was one big problem,” Mr. Sotto told reporters in a mobile phone message. He later said initial report on Mr. Balajadia’s cause of death cited “heart attack,” but has yet to be confirmed. “Heart attack daw initial report. I’m not sure though. Trying to get more details,” Mr. Sotto said in a separate message. He added that Mr. Balajadia, who served the Senate since 2002, resigned last June 30. Mr. Sotto said he is planning to ask the Senate to elect retired Philippine Air Force General Edgardo Rene C. Samonte as the new sergeant-at-arms. “I’ll be asking the Senate to elect my appointee Gen Rene Samonte. Air Force Commander before his retirement a few years ago,” he said. — Charmaine A. Tadalan