Senate pays tribute to ‘selfless, dedicated’ Leticia Ramos-Shahani

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Senate pays tribute to ‘selfless, dedicated’ Leticia Ramos-Shahani
'I also learned from her that the only thing in life that we can be is to be kind,' says former senator Rene Saguisag in his eulogy, delivered at the necrological rites for his former colleague

MANILA, Philippines – Former and incumbent senators on Thursday, March 23, paid tribute to the late senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, whom they hailed as a “selfless and dedicated” lawmaker and diplomat who relentlessly pushed for her advocacies.

At necrological rites held at the Senate, former Senate president Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr remembered Shahani as a “workhorse of the Senate.” (OBITUARY: Leticia Ramos-Shahani: The woman who competed with the best)

“I can only say that the Senate was blessed by her selfless and dedicated presence as a lawmaker for two terms and so was the country,” he said in his eulogy.

Former senator Rene Saguisag, for his part, said in his eulogy: “She served as our expert advocate for an independent foreign policy. She would not want us to resume being America’s last plantation nor China’s new one.” (READ: PH-China dispute: This time with spunk and dignity)

“I also learned from her that the only thing in life that we can be is to be kind,” Saguisag added.

Former Senator Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay Jr said Shahani “relentlessly and tirelessly pursued the things she believed in, while  Senator Richard Gordon said “age cannot wither a person like Shahani nor custom stale her infinite variety.”

Epitome of women empowerment

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Shahani fought for the country’s foreign policy interests, women’s welfare, the preservation of culture and the arts, farmers and fisherfolk, small businessmen, victims of rape and discrimination, and for  moral governance.

Senator Loren Legarda described Shahani as the epitome of women empowerment, while Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said Shahani “symbolizes education as the door of achieving one’s potential.” 

“Perhaps it was not coincidence that former Senate President Pro-Tempore Leticia Ramos-Shahani passed away on women’s month. Perhaps, even until her death, she wanted to make a statement on women empowerment. Manang Letty was, after all, a true embodiment of the empowered Filipina,” Legarda said.

Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV cited Shahani’s contribution to raising the status of Filipino women.

“Just last year, our country ranked as the 7th most gender equal society, No. 1 in Asia, according to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report. A great achievement for our country and I am certain thanks in part to the contributions of the fierce women’s advocate who was Tita Letty,” Aquino said.

TRIBUTE. Senate leaders led by Senator Aquilino Pimentel III present adopted Senate Resolution No. 44 to the family of former senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani on March 23, 2017. Photo by Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB

Senator Sonny Angara hailed Shahani as “a woman of substance; a brilliant lawmaker; a nationalist diplomat; a fighter for women’s rights.”

The Senate presented the family of Shahani, the sister of former president Fidel Ramos, with adopted Senate Resolution No. 44 which expressed the Senate’s “sympathy and condolences.”

The Senate resolution noted that Shahani, senator from 1987 to 1998, “was instrumental in the enactment of quality legislative measures that gave emphasis on education, economics, and natural resources and environmental protection.”   

Among her legislative achievements are the following:

  • Republic Act 7356 creating the National Commission for Culture and the Arts
  • RA 7227 or the Bases Conversion and Development Act 
  • RA 7157 or the Philippine Foreign Service Act
  • RA 8505 or the Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998
  • RA 8550 or the The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998
  • RA 6977 or the “Magna Carta for Small Enterprises

Shahani died on March 20, at the age of 87. –

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