Del Rosario: Inouye's death 'great loss for PH'
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines lost a "true friend" and "invaluable champion" in US politics with the passing of US Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Tuesday, December 18.
Inouye, the longest-serving member of the United States Senate, died Monday, December 17 (Tuesday in Manila), died of respiratory problems after spending recent weeks in hospital, his office said.
"Through his leadership roles as Senate President Pro Tempore and Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, Senator Inouye steadfastly advanced Philippine interests and was instrumental in increasing US military and development assistance to the Philippines," del Rosario said in a statement.
Del Rosario cited Inouye's staunch support for laws that benefit Filipinos and Filipino-Americans, specifically the passage of the bill granting benefits to Filipino World War II veterans, and the passage of the Save Our Industries (SAVE) Act.
He also said the late US Senator was a personal mentor, who helped him learn the "intricate workings" of the US Congress while he was Ambassador to Washington DC.
"As we pay tribute to this consummate statesman, war hero and generous spirit, we express our deepest sympathies to his wife, Irene, his son, Kenny, the people of the Great State of Hawaii, and the American people on this monumental loss," he said.
"We pray that they will find solace from all the good things Senator Inouye accomplished in his extraordinary lifetime," Del Rosario added.
The veteran lawmaker had represented Hawaii in Congress from the day the Pacific island chain officially entered the union on August 21, 1959, and voted on some of the most historic US legislation of the last half century including the Civil Rights Act of 1964. - Rappler.com, with the Agence France-Presse