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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Senators, past and present, legal luminaries pay tribute to Rene Saguisag

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Tributes poured for renowned human rights lawyer and former Senator Rene Saguisag on social media Wednesday as news of his passing was confirmed by his family.

Majority of the political personalities, who extended their condolences online and through official statements sent to the media, remembered the late public servant for his positive contributions particularly in the legal profession.

Here’s are excerpts of what they said:

SENATE PRESIDENT JUAN MIGUEL ‘MIGZ’ ZUBIRI

“As a member of the Senate, Sen. Saguisag co-authored laws that up to now uphold the highest standards in the public service, such as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (R.A. 6713) and the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (R.A. 6770).

While leaving an indelible mark as a true statesman, he also emulated and lived out the principle that those who have less in life should have more in law by giving free legal services to the poor and needy.

Sen. Saguisag leaves behind a legacy of service and excellence that continues to be a benchmark for many young lawyers and public servants.”

SENATOR ANA THERESIA ‘RISA’ HONTIVEROS

“Senator Saguisag stood alongside us in opposing the extension of martial law in Mindanao in 2017. I also had the distinct honor of having him as my legal counsel, and his dedication to his profession and advocacy have inspired me deeply.

He was steadfast in defending our democratic values and protecting the rights of all citizens. His passing represents a very sad loss to our country, as we bid farewell to a true champion of human rights.

While we mourn the loss of such a great leader, we must also honor his life and dedication to public service. He will always be remembered as one of the ‘Magnificent 12’ whose bold choice to terminate foreign military bases reshaped our history and affirmed our sovereignty. Even in his absence, his legacy will continue to live on.”

SENATOR MARIA LOURDES ‘NANCY’ BINAY

Aming taos-pusong pakikiramay sa pamilya ni former Senator Rene Saguisag.

May you rest in peace, Tito Rene. Finally, magkasama na kayong nagsasayaw muli ni Tita Dulce ❤️”

SENATOR GRACE POE

“We condole with the nation for the loss of a staunch advocate for good governance and justice.

A legal luminary, he has devoted his time and brilliance to many, especially the disadvantaged in society.

In our citizenship battle with the courts, Sen. Rene had stood with us, unconditionally lending his wit and wisdom, and for this, we will forever hold him dear.

Our deepest sympathies to his bereaved family and may his soul rest in peace.”

SENATOR ROBINHOOD PADILLA

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of Ka Rene Saguisag.

Unbeknownst to everyone, Ka Rene has become my close friend, and I consider him a mentor when he became my lawyer back in the day – not only in matters of law but in matters of life.

Ka Rene is not only smart, he was ‘very smart.’ If he wrote an opinion, you need to read it carefully and repeat it to make sure you understand his writing correctly.

Thank you very much, Ka Rene, for the wisdom you shared with us.

We will never forget you.”

SENATOR FRANCIS ‘CHIZ’ ESCUDERO

“My sincere condolences and prayers to the family and loved ones of former Senator Rene V. Saguisag. He was a patriot, a nationalist, and an honest public servant.”

SENATOR JUAN EDGARDO ‘SONNY’ ANGARA

“Rest in Peace, former Senator Rene Saguisag… [He] authored the Code of Conduct for public officials along with [former Senate President Jovito] Salonga. Not many left from my father’s batch of 24 (senators) from the first post EDSA Senate…”

The Philippine flag at the Senate grounds flies at half mast in honor of former Sen. Rene Saguisag who died Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB)

ATTY. LEILA DE LIMA

“One of the greatest lawyers of our time, and an illustrious alumnus of San Beda College of Law, Sen. Rene V. Saguisag, has left us.

Thank you, Sen. Rene, for all your support in all the more than 6 years of my imprisonment. Thank you for being there in my trial to show your solidarity even when it was already difficult for you to travel.

The Philippine legal community has lost another luminary, and the Filipino people [have] lost a great leader. You will be missed always, especially in our shared struggle for a just and progressive nation.”

ATTY. CHEL DIOKNO

“The country has lost a remarkable, kind and patriotic man with the passing of former Senator Rene Saguisag.

His legacy as a senator and human rights advocate will forever remain etched in the hearts and minds of Filipinos.

Our deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to his family and loved ones.”

FORMER SEN. PAOLO BENIGNO ‘BAM’ AQUINO IV

Ang paborito kong kwento tungkol sa kanya: Dahil wala siyang pondo para tumakbo sa Senado noong 1987, ang ginamit niyang slogan ay ‘Adopt Saguisag.’ Ito ‘yung panahon na hindi nagiging hadlang ang pondo upang mabubuti at magagaling na tao ang nahahalal sa Senado.

Isa pang kwento tungkol sa kanya ay ang kanyang hindi pagtanggap ng anumang regalo. May pinabalik siyang ice cream na pinadala sa kanyang opisina dahil bawal ito.

Salamat sa inspirasyon at sa malalim na pagmamahal sa bayan, Sen. Rene Saguisag! Pakikiramay sa iyong pamilya at mga mahal sa buhay. May you rest in peace!”

ATTY. LORENZO ‘ERIN’ TAÑADA

“Thank you for your service and your devotion to Human Rights throughout your life! He was part of the batch of lawyers that were in the forefront in defending the underprivileged and political detainees. Mabuhay Ka Rene! Saludo! RIP🙏✊”

LIBERAL PARTY

Ipinagluluksa ng Partido Liberal ang pagpanaw ni former Senator at human rights lawyer Rene Saguisag.

Bilang abogado, kasama siya sa mga tumindig laban sa pang-aabuso noong panahon ng Batas Militar. Bilang miyembro ng Partido Liberal, itinaas niya ang pamantayan para sa mga nasa serbisyo-publiko, hindi lamang sa pamamagitan ng mga inakda niyang batas, kundi pati na rin sa personal niyang pagtupad ng kanyang sinumpaang tungkulin.

Bilang manunulat, ginamit niya ang kanyang malalim na pag-unawa sa batas at mahabang karanasan upang batikusin ang mga nakita niyang mali sa gobyerno, pati na ang walang patumanggang pagbubura at pagbabago sa ating kasaysayan.

Hindi matatawaran ang naging ambag ni Atty. Saguisag sa pagsusulong ng demokrasya, karapatang pantao, at hustisyang panlipunan. Taimtim na pakikiramay ang ipinararating ng Partido Liberal sa kanyang mga mahal sa buhay, kaibigan, at katrabaho.”

BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN (BAYAN)

“We will always remember and appreciate Sen. Saguisag’s friendship and warm relations with BAYAN and other national democratic organizations. He never let political and ideological differences get in the way of pursuing common aspirations and advocacies, especially if it concerned our people”s rights and welfare.

May Sen. Saguisag’s life serve as a shining example and inspiration to our fellow Filipinos in their continuing struggle for freedom, justice, and democracy.”

MAKABAYAN BLOC

“Former Senator Saguisag’s unwavering commitment to upholding justice and defending the rights of the Filipino people has left an indelible mark on our nation’s history. His legacy as a human rights lawyer and public servant will continue to inspire generations of Filipinos to fight for a more just and equitable society.

As it is, during this moment of loss, we join the Saguisag family in mourning the passing of a great statesman. We honor his life lived with integrity and purpose, and we stand in solidarity with all those who have been touched by his wisdom and compassion.

As we remember the contributions of former Senator Rene Saguisag, may his spirit guide us in our ongoing struggle for genuine social change and the advancement of the people’s rights and welfare.”

— With reports from Macon Ramos-Araneta and Rio N. Araja

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