Senate holds necrological service for Laurel

September 17, 2009 11:30 am 

MANILA, Sept. 17 – Members of the Philippine Senate paid last respect to former senator Sotero Laurel through a necrological service held Thursday afternoon at the Senate session hall.

Laurel died Wednesday morning at the age of 90.

Family, relatives and former colleagues, led by former Senate President Jovito Salonga, attended the necrological rites.

Salonga and former Senator Sergio Osmena III along with incumbent senators Mar Roxas, Aquino Pimentel, Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile delivered their eulogies.

”I am sure that no one would dispute when I say that the late Sen. Sotero Hidalgo Laurel, who would have turned 91 ten days from now, was a distinguished lawyer, an outstanding educator, a legislator par excellence, a staunch nationalist who love to serve our people, and a quintessential statesman,” Enrile said in his eulogy read by Sen. Jamby Madrigal.

”We have missed him from the headlines for a very long time: It was mainly because he remained an honorable man, without an anomaly or scandal to his name. May his sterling achievements be capped by the unblemished life he led, a Laurel, who will inspire us to greatness as well,” Zubiri said in his own eulogy.

After reading of the eulogy, Zubiri presented Senate Resolution No. 204 filed by Enrile, expressing the propound sympathy and sincere condolence of the Senate to the family of the late senator.

Enrile acknowledged in his resolution the numerous bills and resolutions filed by Laurel in the Senate where he once served as Senate President Protempore.

Enrile specifically mentioned the Republic Act 6768 entitled, “An Act Instituting a Balikbayan Program”; the National Seed Industry Development Council Act, commonly known as the “Seed Act”, and the Reorganization of the Philippine Statistical System.

Also present were senator Loren Legarda and former senators Franklin Drilon, Ernesto Herrera, Heherson Alvarez, John Osmeña, Santanina Rasul, and former congressman Agapito "Butz" Aquino.

Teroy, as he was known to his friends, was the third son of late President Jose P. Laurel, and until his demise, was the only surviving brother of former Speaker Jose B. Laurel, Jr.; former Vice President Doy Rauel, former ambassador to Japan; Jose S. Laurel II; the late banker Mariano Luarel; and, the late sportsman Dodjie Laurel. He had three sisters, Nene L. Guinto, Rose L. Avancena and Nita L. Yupangco, the last two surviving him.

Fiercely independent-minded, Senator Laurel was Senate President Protempore during the Aquino Presidency.

One of the “Magnificent 12” who voted against the extension of the US Military Baes in 1991, senator Laurel was known for his assertive nationalism and integrity. He was likewise President Protempore of the 1971 Constitutional Convention.

An educator at heart with law degrees from the University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, Georgetown University and Harvard University, Senator Laurel was chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Lyceum of the Philippines University System.

He served as president of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) from 1963-65 and was a recipient of the prestigious “Chevalier de France dans 1’ordre des Palm academique” in 1986. He also served as President of the Philippine Constitution Association and the Philippine Jaycees.

Senator Laurel is survived by his wife, Lorna, and their eight children. (PNA) jfm/utb

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