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May potential! GMA: Dad believed Ed Angara will have bright political future in 1971

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The late former president Diosdado Macapagal had predicted that then young lawyer Edgardo Angara will be destined to a “bright political future.”

Former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made this revelation in her eulogy for the late former Senate president Edgardo “Ed” Angara.

Angara died of heart attack on Sunday, May 13, in his Tagaytay resthouse. He was 83.

“Edgardo Angara was a giant among legal luminaries, an accomplished educator, and a skillful and principled to public servant,” Arroyo said.

“He was a young delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1971 when my father (Diosdado Macapagal), then president of the convention identified him as one of the young turks destined to a bright political future,” she said.

Arroyo added, “Indeed he went on to achieve so much for so many especially education, for the economy, the farmers, and the elderly. He wore many hats and he wore them well.”

“Today, in these halls of the Senate where Ed and I and many of us here spent six fulfilling years together, let me give a grateful send off to a great public servant who to me was a kind and mild mannered mentor,” she said.

“Let me thank Ed once again. In 1992 when he was chairman of the Senate committee on finance he sponsored the Mt. Pinatubo law, to provide P10 billion to rehabilitate my disaster-torn region,” Arroyo said.

She noted that when Angara ran for Senate president in 1993, she supported him. She joined him when he led the Senate minority bloc in 1995.

“He called our bloc the conscience bloc and very fitting choice of name that reflected the kind of principled public servant that he was throughout his life. Principle and strategic direction guided his legislation.” Arroyo said.

She said that Angara’s congressional commission on education led to his “well thought out laws creating CHEd (Commission on Education) and TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), and his gospel law of 1998 which provided for government assistance to students and teachers in private education.”

“Because of Ed’s gospel by the end of my presidency half of private school students were government scholars. Similarly his congressional commission on agricultural modernization led to the masterpiece Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997 better known as AFMA,” she said.

Arroyo, who became president from 2001 to 2010, admitted that Angara had a great influence in the implementation of her agricultural programs during her presidency.

“Ed’s AFMA was the bible for my agricultural programs. If we allocate at least P20 billion a year for agricultural modernization it was because Ed’s AFMA said that modernization should start with P20 billion,” she said.

“If we allocated P30 billion for irrigation, 10% for post harvest facilities, 10% for other infrastructure and at least P2 billion for credit it was because Ed’s AFMA said so,” Arroyo admitted.

She even appointed Angara’s protégé Ding Panganiban as Secretary of Agriculture in 2005 to “better implement his AFMA.” Arroyo narrated that when Angara returned to the Senate during her presidency “he was there when I needed him.”

She said that Angara authored the anti money laundering law which was part of her legislative agenda. “In turn, I supported his personal advocacies like the Senior Citizens Act of 2004.”

“And it was my honor to have him in my 2007 senatorial line up. And in 2008, his son (Juan Edgardo) Sonny gave us our Personal Equity Retirement Act law or PERA. It was part of my economic agenda but also served Ed’s advocacy for senior citizens retirees,” she said.

“Dear Ed, the impact of your principled work is larger than life on the old and the young, the students and farmers, the economy and education. Rest in peace and thank you,” Arroyo said.