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Kaibigang maaasahan: Erap remembers Ed Angara

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He stressed this in his eulogy for Angara whom he considered a dear friend. Angara died of heart attack on Sunday in his Tagaytay resthouse. He was 83.

“We’ve lost a public servant of the highest integrity and a legislator with compassion, an intellectual with the heart for the poor, a champion for cause of education,” said Estrada.

Angara served in the Cabinet of Estrada as agriculture secretary and executive secretary. “Ed (Angara’s nickname) was a great lifelong deliver of education, a tool to change lives,” the former president said.

“I admire Ed for many things. Higit pa dyan, tinuturing kong isang malaking karangalan na nakilala ko siya at naging kaibigan, si Ed Angara,” said Estrada, the first in the list of those who delivered eulogy for Angara.

“I have such high hopes for our team when I chose him as my running mate in the 1998 presidential elections. Alam kong maasahan ko ang kanyang katapatan, talino at galing at maging ang kanyang hangarin na maingat ang mga Pilipino mula sa kahirapan,” he said.

He added, “With great sadness I bid farewell to colleague Sen. Edgardo Angara. Salamat Ed. Salamat sa iyong dangal at sa pagilingkod at pagmamahal sa bayan.”

“You’ll be missed by those whose lives were touched by your generosity and commitment to serve. Goodbye Ed and God grant you eternal rest,” Estrada said.

Angara was the longest serving senator in the post-EDSA Senate. Except for a mandatory term break, he has been elected to four consecutive terms of six years each.

He started his political career when he was elected in Quezon province as one of the youngest delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. A year later, he founded together with an enterprising group of law classmates what would become one of the country’s top law firms, the ACCRA Law Offices.

During the 8th Congress (1987-1992), he headed the Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) that restructured and instituted wide-ranging reforms in the country’s educational system.

Angara was able to push for the passage of some of the country’s most memorable laws. These include the Free High School Act, Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA), the National Health Insurance Act (Philhealth), Senior Citizens Act, the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA), the Renewable Energy Act and the Procurement Reform Act.

Angara has also shown deep commitment for the promotion of culture and the arts as the author and sponsor of the laws creating the National Museum, the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Natatanging Manlilikha Award which bestows honor on the Filipino folk and traditional artists. He also authored the National Book Publishing Industry Development Act and the National Cultural Heritage Law.