Liezl Martinez dies at 47
Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - March 15, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — More than six years after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, actress Anna Lisa “Liezl” Sumilang-Martinez died in her sleep at 6:15 yesterday morning at the Medical City in Pasig City where she was rushed last week after suffering a seizure. She would have turned 48 on March 27.

She was surroun-ded by her loved ones: husband actor Albert Martinez and their children Alyanna, Alfonso and Alyssa; mom actress Amalia Fuentes; uncles Cheng and Alex Muhlach. Liezl’s father, Romeo Vasquez (real name: Ricardo Sumilang), arrived last night from California where he is based, after he missed an earlier flight. However, he was able to spend precious time with his daughter and her family during his last homecoming late last year.

Liezl retired from showbiz after appearing in movies produced by her mom’s company and contented herself with being wife to Albert and mom to their children. At the time of her death, Liezl was a board member of the MTRCB ((Movies and Television Review and Classification Board) headed by Toto Villarreal.

“The MTRCB deeply mourns the passing away of its beloved board member Liezl S. Martinez,” said Villarreal in an official statement. “In her few years with the Board, Liezl co-chaired the committee responsible for the Matalinong Panonood campaign. She also engineered the modernization of the MTRCB facilities. Liezl will be greatly missed. We nonetheless join the Philippine entertainment industry and the Filipino audience in celebrating her life. We extend our condolences and prayers to her family and loved ones.”

Liezl joined the MTRCB during the term of Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares as the agency’s chairperson.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Poe texted The STAR from abroad when told about Liezl’s passing. “I knew about her relapse only a few week ago.” Liezl was in remission until the cancer metastasized in other parts of her body, including her brain.

“My earliest memory of Liezl goes way back to our childhood when we used to play with old cooking pottery in the bahay kubo at the backyard of my parents’ house,” added Poe, daughter of Da King Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, the kumare and colleague at the old Sampaguita Pictures of Liezl’s mom Amalia.

“She was always very sweet and pleasant to be with. She was never a brat considering that she was the only biological child of Tita Amalia. But I will always remember Liezl as a champion of moral values and child welfare as a Board Member of the MTRCB. She went the extra mile to argue against indecent or violent materials or content she believed should not be shown to children. She was the first to support me in the MTRCB standard TV classification campaign SPG (Striktong Patnubay at Gabay) and also in the creation of the R16 movie classification. It was truly an honor to have work with Liezl, my kinakapatid and good friend. She was a woman accomplished in all aspects of her life.”

Liezl’s remains are at The Heritage, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Last night’s wake was exclusive to family members. Public viewing starts today. Interment arrangements will be announced shortly.

ALBERT MARTINEZ ALFONSO AND ALYSSA AMALIA FUENTES ANNA LISA BOARD MEMBER BUT I CHENG AND ALEX MUHLACH DA KING FERNANDO POE JR. AND SUSAN ROCES FORT BONIFACIO LIEZL
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