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Jul 8, 2016
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One of the three "Bangkang Papel" boys who became famous during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo passed away on Thursday.

According to ABS-CBN News, 24-year-old Erwin Dolera died around 11:50 a.m. at the San Lazaro Hospital after two weeks of battling pneumonia.

He also suffered complications from tuberculosis, as per his sister, Irma Dolera-Palanas.

Dolera, who, along with Jomer Pabalan and Jayson Vann Banogon, became a symbol of the Arroyo administration's fight against poverty. They were introduced by Arroyo during her first State of the Nation Address in 2001.

The three boys used to live at the Payatas dumpsite in Quezon City until the landfill tragedy in 2000, which buried hundreds of people alive, forced them to leave.

The story goes that they wrote their dreams and wishes on a paper boat, which they let float through the Pasig River, hoping for it to reach the Malacañang Palace.

In his paper boat, Dolera, who was only eight at the time, asked Arroyo to close the dump and that his family be given their own land.

Dolera was a Mass Communication graduate at Trinity University of Asia, he interned and worked as a production assistant at TV5 before his demise.

 

Photos via Erwin Dolero's Facebook account

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