Senate honors ‘Manong Ernie’

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THE Senate will hold necrological services for former Senate President Ernesto Maceda, or “Manong (Elder Brother) Ernie” who was described as an “effective bureaucrat and a principled lawmaker who always acted based on the people’s interest.”

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Maceda, who earned the moniker “Mr. Exposé” for exposing anomalies in government during his Senate days, passed away Monday evening after undergoing gallbladder surgery at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. He was 81 years old.

According to the Office of the Senate Secretary, necrological services for the late senator will be held on Thursday at around 4 p.m.

Senate Secretary Oscar Yabes said Senate President Franklin Drilon, other senators and protocol officers will await the arrival of Maceda’s family and the casket bearing the remains of the former statesman at the entrance of the Senate building in Pasay City at 4 p.m.

The casket will then be brought to the Senate session hall where Maceda’s family and former colleagues will deliver eulogies and pay their last respects.

Among those expected to pay tribute to the late senator are Drilon, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Gregorio Honasan 2nd and former Senators Rene Saguisag, Heherson Alvarez, Nikki Coseteng, Orlando Mercado, Joey Lina and Francisco Tatad.

Several senators have expressed their condolences to the family of the former Senate chief, who during his time in the Senate, received numerous awards from various news agencies and private organizations for his outstanding performance.

Drilon described the late senator 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.”

“I send my sincerest condolences to his family and I pray that the Lord will give them strength throughout this difficult time,” Drilon said.

Outgoing Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. considers Maceda as among the best and brightest who served in his father’s Cabinet.

“His entire life’s record of public service is a testament not only to his brilliance but dedication to his calling. But most of all, he was a true friend and a second father to many of us,” Marcos added.

Maceda worked under the Marcos administration first as Secretary of Community Development in 1966. He was again appointed by Marcos as his Executive Secretary in concurrent capacity as chairman of the Commission on Reorganization in 1969.

Malacañang also extended its sympathies to the family of former Senate President Maceda.

“We extend our condolences to his bereaved family and join his bereaved family in fervent prayers for his eternal repose,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

Maceda served three terms in the Senate and held five Cabinet positions. He was the oldest senatorial candidate in the 2013 elections.

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 University, Maceda entered politics as a councilor of Manila in 1959.

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