MANILA, Philippines — The Senate paid tribute to former Senator Victor Ziga in a necrological service, remembering and celebrating his legacy as a devoted public servant, on Wednesday.
First to ship his eulogy was former Senator Joey Lina, who served within the eighth Congress with Ziga.
Lina’s eulogy very effectively summed up the collective sentiment of attendees that Ziga’s passing “is our nation’s loss.”
Ziga served as a senator from 1987 to 1992 and was a former assemblyman from 1984 to 1986.
“Indeed, let me say that your loss is our nation’s loss,” Lina stated, addressing Ziga’s household.
“There is no doubt, our dearly beloved colleague in the 8th Congress was a high achiever in life. He certainly was the pride of the Bicolandia, who gained national stature starting from his victory in the 1984 Batasang Pambansa all the way to his being elected to the Philippine Senate in 1987,” added Lina, who joined the necrological service nearly.
He then recalled Ziga’s onerous work throughout the eighth Congress that resulted within the passage of the historic measure, the Local Government Code.
“With his attitude of striving excellence, his devotion to fulfill his avowed duties and responsibility as a senator was on full display as he put in long hours in the painstaking tasks of going over the intricacies and complexities of the landmark legislation that would be the so-called bible of local officials in the Philippines,” stated Lina.
He then expressed gratitude to Ziga for the “warm friendship” they’d shared.
“May God grant you eternal rest and may your memory be a blessing and inspiration to all Filipinos,” Lina stated.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, in the meantime, remembered Ziga’s intensive public service.
“He first entered the political arena in 1984 when he became an Assemblyman in the Batasang Pambansa at such a young age of 39,” Sotto stated.
“He held various posts of great responsibility, including that of Minister of General Services in 1986. Thereafter, he was elected a Senator of the Philippine Senate in 1987,” he added.
Part of the ‘famous trio’
Sotto additionally recalled Ziga as being a part of the eighth Congress’ personal model of the trio “Tito, Vic, and Joey.”
“During that time in 8th Congress, I was vice mayor and there was a pun that we had between us in my television program ‘Eat Bulaga’ and the 8th Congress. Because in Eat Bulaga we had ‘Tito, Vic, and Joey’ and in the Senate then, they also had a ‘Tito, Vic, and Joey’ and we often ribbed about it, Tito Guingona, Vic Ziga, and Joey Lina,” Sotto stated.
He was a part of the “famous trio” within the eighth Congress, he quipped.
“Levity aside, his life as a public servant truly mirrors his ideals as a man for the masses,” Sotto stated.
“He was involved in numerous typhoon relief operations and other civic organizations. He was also a great supporter of the health for the Filipino people as he spearheaded the Medical Eye Specialist Mission and Medical Mission of the Philippine General Hospital. He filed various bills in his hopes to alleviate the welfare of the Filipino people,” he added.
The Senate president additionally described Ziga as a “true patriot,” citing the latter’s opposition to the extension of the Military Bases Agreement between the Philippines and the United States.
“In that historic vote, he said: ‘I refuse to sacrifice our national interest in exchange for a bundle of vague promises. Rather, I choose to continue to work for what I believe is right and just for our country. I, therefore, submit my action to the lasting judgment of history with my conscience and firm conviction as my cause’,” Sotto stated.
“This was the defining moment of a man with great responsibility who went through it with flying colors. He risked the displeasure of his benefactors in voting for what he thought was for the best interest of the Philippines,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, and Senators Christopher “Bong” Go, Sherwin Gatchalian, and Manny Pacquiao additionally honored the late senator.
“He is a noble public servant. He lived his life to the fullest and we are all inspired,” Pacquiao stated in his taped eulogy.
“Throughout his distinguished career as a member of the Batasan Pambansa, cabinet secretary, and senator of the 8th Congress of the Philippines. Sen. Ziga embodied the patriotism, integrity, and competence we should expect from every Filipino leader,” Gatchalian stated.
During the necrological service, the Senate additionally introduced an adopted decision expressing the chamber’s profound sympathy and honest condolences on the loss of life of Ziga to his bereaved household.
Ziga’s son, Albay Board Member Victor Ziga Jr., thanked the Senate for holding the necrological service in honor of his father.
“On behalf of our bereaved family, we thank you for this honor, given today for my father I’m sure he will visit the Senate halls where once he was honored by the Filipino people in having a seat and being of service to his country,” Ziga Jr. stated.
In his eulogy, Ziga Jr. assured his father that he and his siblings would try to proceed the legacy of the late senator.
“We will miss you so much, Papa. We promise to continue our traditions and don’t worry, we will take care of Mama and one another as we promised,” he stated.
“My father’s name, which we will all be forever proud of, will remain. Papa, we will make you proud and continue your legacy,” he added.
Ziga passed away on Sunday afternoon because of coronary heart and multi-organ failure at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. He was 75.
He is survived by his spouse Carmen and kids Christian, Diane, Caroline, Vic Jr., Rick, Brian, and Mayte.
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