Requiem for Sen. Edong Angara

IT hurts to say “goodbye” to a good man, that’s for sure.

Such is the case of former Senator Ed Angara, an exemplary Filipino leader who could have been president of this country.

We used to be his public relations officer when he served the remaining years of then Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Marcelo Fernan, when the Cebuano lawyer ran for the Senate.

It was former IBP Central Luzon Gov. Alfonso C. Bince,Jr., our first publisher in Pangasinan and former board member of the provincial board, who introduced us to Ed Angara.

With Alfie and abogado de kampanilla Vicente Millora, also a past national IBP president, at the helm of the lawyers club, we felt at home in the lawyers’ aggrupation.

Edong Angara, most everyone know, typified the gentleman-politician. Though a member of the opposition, his actions, actuations and advocacies befit the highest form of statesmanship. Even his political opponents admire him.

President Rodrigo Duterte couldn’t help humbling himself to Angara’s masterful handling of his rift with the European Union, blurting “he was the defender of my foul mouth before the EU.”

A humble brilliant but humble person almost to a fault, Ed Angara had to decline the post of ambassador to the United Kingdom “to give way to young diplomats.”

He was UP president from 1981 to 87, a most fruitful era for the State U for asserting the university’s tradition of dissent and fiscal autonomy.

Our son, Youseef, who had his internship at Angara’s senate office during his studentship at UP, says his Angara’s humility and brilliance are inspiring they’ve made a lot of people unashamedly cry when he died. Chip was at his wake at the Heritage Park in Taguig. Alfie.

The senator’s unexpected passing once again proves the truism that death is like a theft in the night. His son, Senator Sonny, says the elder one attended the anniversary celebration of his ACCRA Law office last Saturday evening, and went to sleep at 7:45p.m.

Our son, Chip, who worked under Senator Angara as an intern, while taking his public administration and governance in UP, texted this tribute to his boss:

“Paean to a former boss and mentor. I felt the Hand of God when I was allowed to have my internship at Senator Angara’s office… a learning, joyful experience. Bon voyage to him for finally walking with the Lord to His Heavenly Mansions.”
May he rest in peace.

* * * * * *

Our brief visit to the National Press Club on May 6 was a shocking experience.

resence of ten colleagues – former club presidents Celo Lagmay, Fred Gabot, Benny Antiporda, Joel Egco and the outgoing Paul Gutierrez, newly elected president Rolly “Lakay” Gonzalo, former directors JovenCustodio, Felix Mediavillo, Dennis Inigo, Doming Panganiban and newly re-elected Jean Fernando, AyaYupangco, and Tina Maralit, and our companions Jaime Aquino and Orly Guirao, most of the members present were unfamiliar to us.

We thought our estranged feeling was due to our long absence after serving the club twice director under Tony Antonio and Louie Logarta and editor of the club paper. But no, this naninibago feeling is the common observation of the so-called old guards that the NPC is now dominated by the tabloids.
We missed the familiar faces from the PDI, Manila Bulletin, Phil Star, Manila Standard, Manila Times and members and the mainstream broadcast and TV networks.

Is the diminution of the mainstream journalists a sign of capitulation?

One time we talked about this with Recah Trinidad and Al Mendoza, and thought of the need of regrouping the mainstream the leaders of the Tabloid.

We hope new pangulo Lakay will do something about this.