Press Release
May 16, 2018

Eulogy of Senator Franklin M. Drilon
Necrological ceremony for the late Senator Edgardo J. Angara


Mrs. Gloria Angara, Sen. Sonny Angara, and members of the Angara family, my esteemed colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

Today, we honor Edgardo Javier Angara, and his extraordinary life and work that inspired countless men and women, even as we extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Baby, and children Anna, Sonny, Katya and Alex. But we cannot deny that the passing of this gentleman, who made an indelible mark in this great institution, has left us all with a void that is so difficult to fill.

Ed's passing came as a shock to me as I'm sure it did to most of us here today. When I first heard the news, it felt like the rug was pulled out from under my feet. Ed and I had breakfast at Hong Kong Shangri-La Hotel two Sundays ago. And, last Saturday, I am one of the last people who saw Ed and enjoyed his company just hours before he quietly passed on. After attending the 46thanniversary of ACCRA Law at Tagaytay Highlands last Saturday, Ed hosted a merienda cenaat his house in Tagaytay. He was in a jovial mood and seemed to be in good health - and talked animatedly about his life away from politics. He even showed us his Art House, where he planned to put on display his memorabilia.

Even at the ripe age of 83, he had so many plans for his country, which led me to kid that he needed 100 more years and live up to 183 years old to ensure they all came to fruition.

Little did I know that his earthly journey would soon come to an end. But still I am grateful that he shared his time, or whatever was left of it, with us.

Summarizing my friendship of almost 50 years with Ed in a short speech is impossible as we have collected many memories - too many to recall each one of them. Ed was many things to me. We were not only fraternity brothers, we also worked together - from ACCRA to the Senate - and shared countless milestones. I was even there at the baptismal of his son, Sen. Sonny Angara. It is hard to pick out my best memory of our friendship that spans several decades.

Ed was a jewel of a friend - a man who had my highest respect and admiration. It is not a secret that he was a major influence in my professional and political life.

It was Ed who invited me to join ACCRA. He convinced me that since ACCRA was a new firm then, it would offer bigger opportunities for me. ACCRA was then looking for someone who was in labor practice. Even before they recruited me, they had asked for my advice in some labor cases they were handling. As Ed promised, working in ACCRA was indeed an excellent career move.

Barely a few months after my election to the Senate in 1995, there was a change of leadership. Ed, who was then Senate President, was replaced by Neptali Gonzales. With nary a thought of my nascent political career, I threw my full support to Ed. For standing by him, I was left with no Committee to handle. But it was all worth it. I then joined the opposition group in the Senate, called the Conscience Bloc, along with Senators Angara, Ople, Tatad, Flavier, and Macapagal-Arroyo.

I gave the same unstinting support to Ed when he ran for Vice President in 1998 under Erap Estrada.

Our friendship transcended political colors and affiliations, even if sometimes, we found ourselves opposing each other and sitting in opposite political fences. Once he even tried to depose me as Senate President. But, the friendship remained.

Leaders and politicians come and go. But only a few would leave deep footprints on the sands of time because of their enormous contribution to nation building and to the betterment of humanity.

Ed's sterling accomplishments in the fields of politics, public service, law, and the academe cemented his niche in our nation's life and history. The impact of the laws he authored, such as theFree High School Act,the Senior Citizen's Act, PHILHEALTH Act and many more, will be deeply felt and appreciated by generations of Filipinos. His journey on earth was marked by his courage and determination to pursue his vision for our country, as well as his deep reservoir of ideas on how to uplift the lives of our countrymen.

I am privileged to have known him, to have laughed, walked and worked with him. It is not easy to bid him farewell, but I find comfort in the thought that his was a life well-lived. In his lifetime, he enriched many lives, including mine.

To Gloria, Anna, Sonny, Katya and Alex, you lost a great husband and an amazing father. I lost a dear friend and highly esteemed colleague.

Our country may have lost one of its brilliant minds and illustrious sons, but I am certain that Ed's legacy is cradled in the bosom of a grateful nation. While we would all prefer that he remained with us, Senator Ed Angara belongs to the ages now. And this is how I would like to envision our dear Edong now--in peace and at rest, but still strong and sure, and watching over us with a curious but satisfied grin. While all that we have left now are our fond memories, we can rest in the fact that his was a life well-lived.

Today, we come to express our sympathy, respect, and affection for Ed and his loved ones, and share their loss and pain. Just like a heavy load, grief that is shared loses its sting, and dissipates among loving friends and family. It dissipates because each will carry away with us - not the burden of grief - but pleasant and wonderful memories of Ed. It is soothing and healing to realize that Ed has touched the lives of so many, where he has sown so much good will and affection. So, let us spread Ed's loving memory and good deeds, to honor him, and to help ease our shared pain of losing a dear friend and colleague.

PaalamEd. Thank you for the gift of friendship. Rest in eternal peace. May God's face shine upon your soul, the family you left behind, and the Philippines that you so dearly loved.

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