Lawmakers grieve over Nelson Mandela’s passing

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Dec 6 (PNA) — The passing of former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela was considered a great loss by senators who mourned with the rest of the world on Friday.

Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95, according to South African President Jacob Zuma who announced his death.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, on behalf of the Senate of the Philippines, extend sympathy and support to Mandela’s family.

“Today we have lost a man who throughout his life, has served as a potent symbol for honor, peace, courage and magnanimity,” Drilon said in a statement.

“From rebel leader to activist, from prisoner to president, Nelson Mandela, called “Madiba” by his people, transformed not only himself but the entire nation of South Africa,” he added.

Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano meanwhile described Mandela as “an exemplary leader who was trusted and knew sacrifice as well as authority.”

“He will be greatly missed!” Cayetano said via Twitter.

Also tweeting condolences was was Sen. JV Ejercito: “RIP Nelson Mandela… Truly you have helped change the world.”

Sen. Sonny Angara retweeted an article from the Time magazine and also posted his own tribute: “RIP Nelson Mandela. (One) of the great ones.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Cynthia Villar also via Twitter expressed that she joined the whole world in mourning the death of Nelson Mandela and paying tribute to his legacy: “Rest in peace, Madiba”.

Former journalist now senator, Sen. Loren Legarda remembered the time she got to interview Mandela in 1997 in his state visit to the Philippines.

“He was a leader who earned your respect with his presence alone because even with his power and influence, he remained kindly and unassuming. His humility was his true greatness,” she said.

She also spoke of Mandela’s humility, saying that he was a leader who gave credit to the effort of the people around him.

“He never gave the impression that the leadership was all about him, but that he was a man who was tasked to execute the ideals and ideas of his organization,” she said.

“He even told me during my interview that he did not see the need to run for reelection because he believed in the tradition of collective leadership,” she added.

Sen. Nancy Binay described him as an inspiration to all nations and how “ his simplicity, grace, and passion will continue to live inside those who believe in democracy and equality of all persons – regardless of color, religion, or beliefs.” (PNA)