Press Release
June 23, 2016

Senate pays last respects to former Senator Ernesto Maceda

Current and former senators today paid tribute to former Senate President Ernesto M. Maceda during his necrological services at the Senate, recalling his achievements as a statesman and public servant for more than five decades.

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon presented Maceda's family with a Senate resolution expressing the profound sympathy and sincere condolence of the Senate on the death of the great statesman. The Senate Resolution stated that Maceda had distinguished himself as a tireless bureaucrat and principled lawmaker who placed the interest of the nation above all else.

"His passing away is a great loss not only to his bereaved family but to the nation as well," the resolution said.

Maceda, 81, passed away on Monday evening, June 20, due to multiple organ failure. The Senate has been flying its flag at half-mast since Maceda passed away as a symbol of mourning.

Drilon commended Maceda as one of the most widely respected names in Philippine politics, saying that the late senator was an "intellectual giant who carved his own remarkable niche in the world of politics, diplomacy and media."

"In his five decades of dedicated public service, Manong Ernie took on different roles that showcased his brilliance, professionalism, work ethic, organizational skills and political savvy," Drilon said.

He recalled that when he joined the Senate as a freshly-minted Senator in 1995, "Manong Ernie was already a legend who captured the nation with his political feats."

"He was a highly-esteemed member of the post-EDSA Senate because of his thoroughness and resourcefulness in crafting laws," he said.

Drilon noted that as a senator, Maceda will be remembered for being one of the "Magnificent 12," the senators who voted to reject the US Bases extension in the Philippines.

"His relentless pursuit of excellence and truth earned for him the nickname, "Mr. Expose," he added.

For this part, former Senator Francisco Tatad said Maceda "gave himself totally to the nation" and tirelessly passed laws that benefitted the country.

Maceda said Tatad had always been prepared to sacrifice his personal comfort for the good of the country.

"He left a permanent mark in this institution. He was uncompromising and he was firm but never mean-spirited. He exposed many wrongs or wrong-doers to bring about changes but never used the exposes for his own personal use," Tatad said in his eulogy speech.

Maceda, said former Senator Rene Saguisag, had one of the more electrifying influence in the Senate. He had the foresight to talk about "now simmering" tension in the Spartlys in 1991 and "was helpful me and to the other neophytes in helping us find the ropes in lawmaking. Saguisag said.

Former Senator Orlando Mercardo described Maceda as diligent, industrious and workaholic. "He was never disagreeable and he enjoyed what he was doing," Mercado said.

Senator Juan Ponce Enrile extolled Maceda for having been the "voice for the voiceless of the country." In the more than 43 years of public service, Enrile said, Maceda served with genuine patriotism and dedication to the Filipinos.

"We remember Ernie for carrying the torch of truth and righteousness, for having been a constant reminder that patriotism should never be hallow, pretentious or self-serving. Today, we remember a true Filipino, full of brilliance, full of courage, full of candor," Enrile said.

Other senators who attended the necrological services included Senators Gregorio Honasan, Nancy Binay and former Senators Loi Ejercito, Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Nikki Coseteng, Victor Ziga, Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr., Wigberto Tañada and Freddie Webb.

Maceda served as senator from 1991to1972, 1987 to 1992 and 1992 to 1998. He was elected Senate President from 1996-1998, Senate President Pro Tempore from 1992-1993 and former Minority Leader in 1998. He also served as a cabinet member, a media commentator and as Ambassador to the United States from 1999 to 2001.

He was a highly educated person and the 1956 bar topnocher, having obtained his associate in arts, magna cum laude, and bachelor of laws, cum laude, at the Ateneo de Manila University; master of laws, with distinction, Harvard Law School; doctor of juridical science candidate, Harvard Law School; Harvard International Legal Studies Fellow and Basic Management program, Asian Institute of Management.

He was popularly known as Mr. Expose and a fiscalizer in the Senate He was responsible for exposing and investigating numerous cases of anomalies and irregularities in government such as the "chop-chop" smuggling operation, the "octopus control of piers and ports, the Borloloy building issue and the PEA-Amari deal which resulted in an additional P35-billion for the government coffers, the prosecution of persons responsible for this anomalous deal and the institution of corrective measures that addressed the loophole of existing laws.

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