MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A tireless worker. An active participant in national affairs. A principled lawmaker. A hands-on Senate leader.
This was how the top nation leaders – Malacañang, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and Senate President Franklin Drilon – described former Senate President Ernesto Maceda, who died Monday evening due to multiple organ failure.
Palace Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma, in a statement, extended Malacañang’s condolences to the family left behind.
“The late former Senate President Ernesto Maceda distinguished himself as a legislator, Cabinet member and ambassador through more than five decades of dedicated public service. We extend our condolences to his bereaved family and join his bereaved family in fervent prayers for his eternal repose,” Coloma said.
Binay, for his part, recalled the active participation of Maceda in historic events. In 2013, Maceda ran for senator under the ticket of the vice president but lost.
“Manong Ernie served the nation in various capacities and lived through historic moments in our nation’s history, mostly as an active participant but never as a spectator,” Binay said in a statement Monday evening.
“Manong Ernie will be sorely missed by his family, his friends in government and politics, and those who valued and appreciated his work for the nation,” he added.
Drilon, in a statement, condoled with the Maceda family, as he mourned the passing of the late senator.
“I join the entire nation in mourning the passing of a statesman and an esteemed colleague, former Senate President Ernesto M. Maceda. I send my sincerest condolences to his family and I pray that the Lord will give them strength throughout this difficult time,” Drilon said.
Drilon said Maceda, 81, who was already a cabinet member at only 29 years old, eventually became an “effective bureaucrat” and a “principled lawmaker.”
For the incumbent leader, it was an honor to have worked with the late lawmaker.
“In the time that we shared in the Senate floor, I have known him as a tireless worker and a very “hands-on” Senate President, whose unique zeal and work ethic had led to many important laws that benefited our people,” Drilon said.
“I am proud to have worked alongside such a distinguished public servant. He will remain an inspiration to all of us,” he added.
Drilon said he has ordered Senate Secretary Oscar Yabes to lower the flag at the Senate at half-mast to honor the Maceda.
He added that the chamber is set to coordinate with the family for the provision of honor guards during the wake and for the arrangement of a necrological service for Maceda.
Maceda served 3 terms in the Senate and held 5 Cabinet positions. He was the oldest senatorial candidate in 2013. (READ: Ernesto Maceda: ‘Voters miss brilliant senators’)
He was also the Philippines’ ambassador to the United States under the administration of former President Joseph Estrada.
A product of the Ateneo de Manila University and Harvard, Maceda entered politics as councilor of Manila in 1959.
Until recently, he wrote a column in The Philippine Star and hosted a weekly radio talkshow called “Mr Exposé,” after the title he earned when he led a series of high-profile investigations in the Senate. – With a report from Mara Cepeda / Rappler.com